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Teagasc Assisting Farmers to Cope with Weather Difficulties

Teagasc advisers around the country are responding to individual farmers where the difficult weather conditions have impacted severely on them.

The main issues facing farmers relate to flooding of farm land, managing slurry storage, ensuring livestock have fodder and preparing for fertilising grassland once the weather and ground conditions improve.

Storms, heavy rain and floods create additional health and safety risks and farmers need to take extra care to avoid accidents and injury during stormy periods.

On land that is flooded, or likely to flood, out-wintered stock should be moved to higher ground. Temporary flooding of planted cereal crops should not lead to significant losses, however, areas may require reseeding where there is prolonged flooding.

There appears to be adequate high quality fodder available on most farms. Where silage is fed outdoors, it is advisable to feed smaller amounts more often, in the current weather conditions.

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.

When weather conditions improve there may be opportunities on drier fields, to spread small quantities. Avoid sloping fields.

Dr Tom Kelly, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, said: “Little or no fertiliser has been spread for early grass or for crops. Wait for conditions to improve to spread fertiliser, but have it ordered and in the yard so that it can be applied when the conditions and forecast are better.”