There’s still Drought in the South East

Cows being supplemented with soya hulls August 2018

We’re still in a drought situation. Okay, it’s nothing like New South Wales in Australia where the situation is incredibly dire and the earth is brown. However, this is Ireland, the Emerald Isle, where rain is usually never far away and we’re accustomed to rain either spilling, pouring, lashing or spitting at us. The fields have greened up but we’re in a ‘green drought’ whereby the grass just isn’t growing enough to meet demand.

There has been plenty of rain in [...]

Event: Recognising Women’s Involvement in Farming

Sally Shortall, researching women's involvement on farms

It’s not just in the farming industry where women are making their presence felt with perhaps more determination than ever before, although when I think back to the ‘Votes for Women’ campaign, I don’t think we’ll ever reach their heights. In very recent years though, there has been a tangible change. Between sport (the Irish hockey team were silver medallists in the World Cup today), the MeToo movement, women now playing villain characters in films, it seems women aren’t content [...]

Farming: From the Frying Pan to the Fire this year

Dark clouds but no rain. The silver lining is the number of beautiful evenings we are getting  at the moment but at the back of our minds is the knowledge that once the weather breaks, it might not stop raining for months. A feast or a famine this year!

From the Frying Pan into the Fire

April 2018 was a tough month. Every week, we hoped that the rain would stop and each week, the weather forecasters dashed our hopes as fields remained waterlogged, grass grew slowly and livestock stayed indoors eating the last of the winter fodder. Many farmers, mostly those on drier land and accustomed to having their livestock out in February and March, ran out of fodder and had to purchase more.

The cows were indoors for months [...]

16 Reasons Why I Am A #FarmersForYes

rp_sixsmith-family-photo.jpg

The referendum to repeal the 8th Amendment is coming up in a week’s time. I will be voting yes. I started this post thinking I’d come up with eight reasons. I stopped at 16 but I could have kept going.

16 Reasons to Vote Yes

I am voting YES because I have never had an unplanned pregnancy. All five pregnancies were planned. I am one of the lucky ones. I never had to make that choice. I feel for women who have [...]

‘Let it snow, let it snow’

A shed of two halves

Storm Emma and the “Beast from the East” met to create some chaos in Ireland this past week. While we got a lot of snow and were snowed in for a few days, we weren’t in the worst affected county. We didn’t have to put in that much preparation as all livestock were housed in any case. We moved any heavily pregnant cows into the maternity shed to reduce the risk of having to move them across an icy yard. We [...]