Reported in the News Letter on August 29, 1963: Farmers urgently need sunshine to save harvest


Wanted immediately – good weather. And if it’s not forthcoming within the next couple of weeks, there seems little chance of a good harvest.

All over the Province, it is the same – heavy rain has all but ruined crops, but they can still be saved with a bit of sunshine soon – very soon.

County agricultural officers throughout Northern Ireland report a bad start to the gathering of grain crops, although hay and potatoes are not affected to the same extent. In fact, while the first lot of hay was rather poor, the second gathering was good in most places.

From Armagh, it was reported that the recent heavy rain had made it “most difficult” to carry out normal farming operations and some sunshine was urgently required within the next fortnight or so if the grain and cereal crops were to be saved.

Grain has been badly hit too in Derry, where an agricultural spokesman said that there would be “considerable loss” to farmers if the weather did not take up. Hay which had already been baled was of reasonable quality and potatoes were good, but they were still hopeful about getting in the rest of the grain.

All field work has been held up in Tyrone, where there has been very little grain harvesting. Such is the state of waterlogged land in many parts that combines just cannot be used, although quite substantial areas are ready for cutting.

Meanwhile the cry for some sunny weather goes out from all parts of the Province.