North Tipperary IFA chair Imelda Walsh has urged co-ops and merchants to give a 'good price' to tillage farmers
There is a responsibility on co-ops and merchants to return a good price to our tillage farmers who have had to cope with a very challenging season, according to North Tipperary IFA chair Imelda Walsh
After a disastrously wet spring until early March we moved to almost a concerning drought up to and including the June bank holiday when the weather started to change and where we saw more rainfall and cooler temperatures.
“The dry conditions had a major impact on farming families,” said Ms Walsh.
She said that tillage farmers, in particular, had borne the major brunt of the weather this year with enormous challenges on their winter crops.
Some farmers had failed to get all their winter crops sown. In contrast, the conditions were perfect for planting spring crops, but, unfortunately, the almost drought conditions were such that some of the seeds failed to germinate.
“Having spoken with tillage farmers in recent days as they have started to harvest the winter crops they have turned out better than anticipated with spring crops in spite of the drought and the rainfall over the past few weeks has helped,” said Ms Walsh.
The North Tipperary farm leader pointed out that second cut silage was underway on many farms with farmers reporting that crops were much heavier than first cut, which were harvested in perfect conditions during the very sunny weather in May and reported to be quite light.
The recent broken weather has slowed done silage being cut but fortunately there has been a good opportunity at the weekend with many white fields appearing, she said.
Ms Walsh also highlighted that water supplies had been getting low, saying the broken weather was welcomed.
The low rainfall levels had put with huge pressure on water pumps.
“Dairy farmers in particular need a plentiful water supply as dairy cows need large volumes of water, up to 110 litres per head of stock.
“The dry spell saw many dairy farmers needing to increase amounts of concentrates being fed in addition to silage being introduced to the cows’ diet,” she said.
However, Ms Walsh said that farming families, like many, would welcome at this stage a return to warm sunny days.
“There has been sufficient rainfall in the recent weeks to allow nature to continue at its very best,” she said.