'It is always the farmer who has to pay for regulations'
Kevin Comiskey was delighted with the quality of the hay he was baling at his home farm in north Leitrim last week. It was the best he had seen since 1995 and the heatwave of 1976.
"We're 80pc into the first cut with 127 square and rounds bales already done and about 40 to go," he says.
"We should be finished this week. Its good-quality hay and a change from the silage dripping in water that we got over the past few years.
"We'll spread some fertiliser soon and could be in for a second cut in about seven weeks."
The IFA sheep committee vice-chairman cautions that there could be fodder problems this winter in Connacht because the region's farmers depend on fodder supplies from Munster during the cold months. These supplies are unlikely to be available after this year's scorching summer.
He is putting the Department on early notice that a winter fodder scheme should now be at the planning stages - and it needs to be better designed than relief efforts during the rains and storms of the winter.
Kevin rears sucklers - mainly Limousins and Charolais - and a flock of mountain sheep on his 110 acres which is made up of the home place and some rented land.
He is helped on the farm by his son Jason who is in his 20s and has just completed his agricultural studies at Ballyhaise College.