Viewpoint: Have the Irish got too lazy to do farm work for €12.50/hr?
Published 13/01/2016 | 02:30
With 15 Romanians landing on the home farm at the weekend to pick flowers, I know all about the difficulties of getting good agricultural labour.
Farm Relief Services are also struggling to recruit enough staff for the 200 vacancies that they advertised last November.
So it was no surprise when I got this half-joking, all-in-earnest email from a farmer I know well last week.
"Milk price, nitrates, inspections and submerged fields all pale in comparison to the challenge I face getting someone to help me milk my cows.
"I'm in my 50s, and starting to feel it milking 180 cows.
"The last lad left six months ago, and I've been searching since, but maybe €12.50 per hour is just not good enough?
"I had a number of people come and last two or three days and then just not turn up again.
"This is despite providing food and never raise my voice to them.