Viewpoint: Strong leaders required as spring outlook turns gloomy
It's turning into a difficult and expensive spring.
We've already highlighted the high costs farmers are paying for the lack of grass growth due to chilly temperatures in recent weeks.
Many are facing expensive meal top-ups, rapidly depleting silage pits and a surprising demand for those black bales that once looked so populous.
Without doubt cashflow is something that every farmer has to watch this year, with dairy farmers facing into another month's low milk cheque.
The income woes are hitting all sectors with tillage farmers in some cases considering leaving land fallow amid dismally low grain prices, while cattle and sheep farmers are also counting the costs of rehousing animals.
Galway dairy farmer Henry Walsh sums up the situation for many this week when he points out: "The simple truth is we are enduring a very difficult and expensive spring with very low milk prices with no sign of light in the tunnel."
Meanwhile, Rabobank's latest research concludes that the global dairy market outlook will remain weak throughout 2016.
It also states that production levels will not drop off, which will require a new pricing balance mechanism on global markets.