Tag Archives: dairy farming

The Joy of Ambling – for Humans and Cows

Cows ambling along an Irish country lane

Do people amble and relax and meander as much as they used to? Do we meander and daydream and stare into space as much as we should? Mobile phones are great but they mean we are never bored, not bored enough to daydream. I know that if there’s a ten-minute wait when I’m collecting my teenagers that I spend the few minutes checking twitter or sending an email or making a phone call or reading an article. If I’m waiting for them [...]

It’s always good to be alive

Tree in Ireland at Autumn

Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Launching ‘Till the Cows Come Home’

Book launch: Till the Cows Come Home

The launch of my book Till the Cows Come Home has been and gone. I have to admit that in the run up to it, I was thinking to myself that never ever again will I be crazy enough to launch a book in the spring. Let’s just say that most farmers were at silage rather than thinking about attending book launches!

Book launch: Till the Cows Come Home[...]