Bumper silage season is a badly needed boost for farmers' morale
Published 08/06/2016 | 02:30
The fields are alive with the sound of tractors.
I know it's cheesy but I love the scene from the Sound Of Music when Julie Andrews bursts into song on an Austrian hillside. The Hills are Alive is a celebration of the simple joys of nature that never fails to lifts the spirit.
The silage season is the one time of the year when the Irish countryside is guaranteed to burst into life and last week it was pulsating. From dawn 'til dusk, a chorus of machinery filled the fields, roads and farmyards.
The fear - which is based on harsh experience - is that it will not last. It's always a strange kind of feeling if the good weather continues because you begin to wonder what all the rush was for and if you could have done something better if you had taken more time. Probably not.
In what seems like the blink of an eye, we have gone from a situation of no-grass to plenty-grass, from moderate growing conditions to trying to get the silage picked up before it over wilts.
Now, where it looked iffy earlier on, hopefully everyone will have an abundance of feed. Given the challenges being faced on other fronts, especially in the dairy sector, this should give people a badly needed morale boost.
One evening my husband Robin was shaking out some silage. When dinner time came he was reluctant to take a break because he wanted to finish before nightfall. So instead we joined him for a picnic. In 21st century Irish style, it was lasagne. No "hang" sandwiches for us.
Afterwards, the girls and I spent a good hour rolling around in the grass, making piles and trying to burst through the opponent's. Innocent fun.