'We are dictated to by bureaucracy on everything'
My week: Paul Cusack, LemyBrien, Co Waterford - dairy farmer
Paul Cusack has had a 'good' stormy season so far at his farm in Lemybrien in Co Waterford with no flooding or damage apart from a few trees knocked down on the land.
"We are about 300 metres above sea level and the farm slopes down to a small river which drains the lands. Not like over in Cappoquin where the Blackwater broke its banks and caused all sorts of problems," he says.
"We have been lucky, but like everyone else we have had to put up with the weather. It's just depressing, bleak, cold and miserable isn't it."
He recently loaned his Case tractor to a neighbour whose Zetor has broken down and has to take a break in the conversation so that he can explain the Case tractor controls to his neighbour in need.
"I can't complain. The cows are in and at the moment I am cleaning the cubicles," he says when we resume talking.
The 44-year-old runs a dairy enterprise on the 100ac home farm and rents an additional 60ac to cover his mixed herd of 85 Holstein and Hereford cows, which produce an average of 5,500 litres of milk per head with good solids for Glanbia.
He started farming with his father, Paddy, and mother, Mary, after completing his Green Cert studies in Kildalton in 1991 and now runs the farm with their help.
His siblings include four sisters: Emily, a nurse; Maire, an accountant; Clare who recently retired from her commercial photography business to concentrate on rearing her family and Carmel, who runs a furniture business in England. His younger brother William has also taken the photography route.