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Farmers bear brunt of stormy weather

Bobby Campion and Michael G Phelan.  Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

Bobby Campion and Michael G Phelan. Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

The continuous heavy rain is causing difficult farming conditions say Teagasc, who are asking farmers in difficulty to contact them.

Regional Manager for Teagasc Larry O’Loughlin says the wet weather has created a range of problems, particularly for farmers who are outwintering cattle and sheep.

“In addition some winter cereal crops are under water where continuous rain has fallen and rivers have burst their banks,” Mr O’Loughlin says.

He says the advice from Teagasc is to move outwintered stock to higher ground where possible. Where silage is fed outdoors it is advisable to feed smaller amounts more often in the current weather conditions.

The rain is also creating a danger of overflowing slurry tanks.

“Another problem facing farmers is their inability to spread slurry or fertiliser.Farmers are advised to ensure that clean rain water is diverted away from slurry storage tanks.

Storage tanks are filling up after the winter and ground conditions are not currently suitable for spreading. Slurry can be moved from full tanks to ones where there is still some capacity,” he said.

A knock-on effect is that fertiliser can not yet be spread for early grass or crops, but Mr O’Loughlin says to wait for conditions to improve before spreading it.

“Have fertiliser ordered and in the yard so that it can be applied when the conditions and forecast are better,” he advises.

The storms, heavy rain and floods create additional health and safety risks with falling trees and branches among the many dangers.

“Farmers need to take extra care to avoid accidents and injury during stormy periods,” he said.

He urges farmers to contact their local Teagasc office where their farming operations are affected by flooding.

“This is the fourth winter in a row where weather conditions have created difficult conditions for farmers, with many losing money in their farming operations as a result. I would ask farmers experiencing weather difficulties to contact their local Teagasc office” he said.

Call Teagasc’ Laois office at 057 8621326

 

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