Battle continuing to feed and water stock
Frozen troughs and treacherous roads hamper farmers' efforts
Published 12/01/2010 | 05:00
Farmers are still battling to maintain water and feed supplies to livestock this week despite an improvement in weather conditions.
With the country now in the fourth straight week of sub-zero temperatures, providing water for stock is proving extremely difficult.
While temperatures have increased, Met Eireann is predicting continued hard weather for the remainder of the week.
The thaw has started in many areas and up to 6°C is forecast for the southern half of the country today. But heavy frosts are expected again on Thursday and Friday, while some snow is likely in Connacht and Ulster.
Lough Ree on the Shannon has frozen over and the Air Corps was called in to deliver bales of hay to islands on the lake where cattle are being wintered.
Keeping water flowing is the main challenge facing farmers. Water lines to drinking troughs in sheds and yards are frozen solid and many farmers have been unable to keep taps flowing. There are now fears pipes will burst as the thaw sets in.
Farmers right around the country have been forced to draw water from streams and rivers to ensure adequate supplies for housed livestock.