'A lot of the time you are working for nothing'
My week... Eamon Sweeney
Published 26/11/2016 | 16:30
Eamon Sweeney works an 80 hour week on his farm in Co Leitrim and if he "had a fortune" would give up the farming.
"I'm going non-stop everyday and a good bit of that working is for little or nothing. Nobody is making money at the current price we are getting for our milk and the reality is we will need the promised extra income from next year to deal with the problems of this year," the 39-year-old says.
He farms the 74 acre home farm and rents an additional 130 acres to operate his dairy enterprise consisting of 80 Holstein-Friesians producing 1,600 litres of milk per cow for the Lakeland price of 27c/l or 27.28 c/l for the milk which qualifies for a bonus.
He is the sixth generation of the family to work the Ballinamore land which dates the Sweeney holding back to the days when Napoleon marched on Moscow.
Eamon took over from his father 20 years ago after gaining his agricultural qualifications at Ballyhaise College in Cavan.
At the moment he is winding down from his autumn calving work. "We've 35 calved and there are 18 to go. The herd will be housed shortly and then we have the whole winter to think about next year's work.
But don't mention rain to Eamon which he says is making things extremely difficult for farmers in the Leitrim region. Rain really is a pebble in his shoe and he insists that this year's fall was worse than the supposed worst year for rain that was 2015.
"I have an official gauge on the farm and although we had less rain this year than last year, the problem was that it came down every day. I went over to Ballyhaise last week which is only a 45 minute journey and on the day we had 1,021ml of rain in Leitrim and they only had 795ml in Ballyhaise.