Farm hand outs
The Department of Agriculture has denied that it is to make an application for emergency aid from Brussels under the EU Solidarity Fund.
A spokesman said the department was keeping the weather situation under review but that no decision on an application for assistance had been taken.
"The Department is monitoring the situation very closely and is reviewing the weather situation and any impact this may be having on the availability of fodder on an ongoing basis," the department spokeman said.
ICMSA president John Comer said his organisation has been in contact with department officials in relation to the possibility of securing assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund.
"The point here is that we received assistance from this fund in 2009 under exactly this heading in very similar, albeit not as severe, circumstances. On that occasion, Ireland received €13m," Mr Comer said.
"While we acknowledge that the rules of this fund are particularly restrictive and specific, it absolutely has to be worth actively looking at the possibility of getting some assistance that can be directed towards those areas and individuals worst affected."
However, the department pointed out that the application for EU assistance in 2009 was made at national level by the Department of Finance and only a small proportion of the funds were directed to farming.
Meanwhile, the 'stop-start' nature of the harvest has continued over the past week, with the latest bout of strong winds and heavy rain bringing progress to a standstill, especially across the south.
But the sector could finally be getting some good news on the weather front, with high temperatures and drier conditions forecast for the end of the week.
Warm and drier weather is expected to move in over the country from Thursday, with temperatures due to hit 22C by Sunday and possibly even higher early next week.
Up to 70pc of the harvest remains to be cut and the IFA has estimated that poor yields and cutting conditions could cost grain growers up to €100m.
"Yields are down 25pc and 500,000t in potential grain production has been lost at this stage, leaving growers down €100m compared to last year," said IFA grain committee chairman Noel Delany.
"Some of the straw that has been cut will also be lost because of the persistent rain.
Ground conditions are deteriorating rapidly with water tables at unusually high levels for the time of year.
Even if the weather improves some fields may be left unharvested at this stage as some parts of the country have received in excess of 200pc of normal rainfall for the time of year."
Jim O'Mahony of Teagasc described winter wheat yields as disastrous. He said the bad weather had resulted in very poor grain fill, with most crops yielding 2.5t to 2.75t/ac.
Spring barley yields have not been as disappointing, with most crops ranging from 2.5t to 3t/ac.
Winter barley crops are yielding 3.6-3.7t/ac. Sprouting has also been reported where fusarium is established in crops.
It has been a disappointing oats harvest, with most winter oats crops yielding under 3t/ac and severe lodging reported across Munster and south Leinster.
The potato harvest has also been badly hit. Yields are good but terrible ground conditions have played havoc with harvesting.
- Declan O'Brien