'From May it will be work, work, work from 7am to 1am'
Nicholas Hughes, Moylough, Co Galway, dairy farmer and agri-contractor
Nicholas Hughes was on the broad of his back when we spoke last week: "It was a hard calving this evening and I was pulling the calf when I took a stumble and my back went out again," he explained with the weariness of a man who has a somewhat fraught relationship with his back.
He was pulling calf number 53 of 64 of the season when the stumble occurred and so it's painkillers and visits to the chiropractor over the next week or so.
It's a familiar experience for Nicholas: "I usually put the back out once a year but it is not always from something to do with the farm or the contracting business. Sometimes it just goes and I can't say why," he says.
Nicholas farms his 77 acre home farm at Moylough in Co Galway with his wife Catriona and rents out a further 150 to 200 acres depending on availability and farming requirements.
The couple have three children Gearoid (14), Mairead (11) and Sean (8).
Their Friesian herd supplies manufacturing milk to Arrabawn and the contracting enterprise -NCH Contracting - works with up to 50 farmers within a five-mile radius of the home farm.
Everything is covered contracting-wise from baling to slurry spreading and from ploughing to reseeding. Everything that is except pit silage.
"I gave that up in the early 90s. There was no money in it back then and from what I hear there is no money in it now. I was probably getting more for pit silage when I quit than the lads get today.