'The milk price I am getting is hard to believe'
My week: Quentin Harte
Published 27/07/2016 | 02:30
When I rang Quentin Harte last week he had to put me on hold. "I'm up to my eyes with baling and stacking and we are fighting the weather down here on all fronts," he said. "Then I have to go milking. We'll talk in the evening."
In Met Eireann terminology the weather in the Culleens area between Enniscrone and Ballina read "developing cloud with outbreaks of rain increasing", but in Quentin's words it was nothing short of a "nightmare."
Then came the heat wave of last Tuesday and Wednesday and it was back onto the upland fields near the Ox Mountains for Quentin and some serious catching up on the work.
"If the weather is good that's one thing, but so far this year we have had an awful lot of rainfall hitting the ground and when you move the machinery onto the land it tends to boil up and the machinery does some damage.
"There's a huge mix of soils around here and it is a nightmare with the amount of rain we have had over the cutting season. We are only averaging three tonnes an acre."
"I think many farmers will only break even this year," says the 43-year-old dairy/beef farmer who also runs a contracting farming and construction business.
Quentin has completed 400ac for pit silage so far this season and is working his way through a further 500ac of cutting and baling.
The home farm of 55ha with 24ha of leased or rented land is a "little scattered", in his own words, and mostly uplands located seven miles from the sea.