'Maybe we will be forced to cut back our stocking rates' - How one farmer is coping with the drought
Farmers may have to pant on through this heatwave into September, and even then it will take a deluge followed by a lot of good rainfalls to get the ground back in a proper condition for farming, according to veteran dairy man John Robinson.
The 59-year-old from Kilmanagh in Co Kilkenny has never experienced a heatwave as bad in his four decades of farming, and he feels that unless there is a dramatic change to the weather, there is going to be a serious fodder crisis this winter.
"There's no point in putting out fertiliser at the moment, it just stays on the top of the ground," he says.
"What we need is a deluge and rainy weather on consecutive days every week to get a burst of growth going and get in another cut for the winter.
"If the necessary rain does not come by September, every farmer will be hoping that the Minister for Agriculture and the co-ops have a viable fodder scheme to keep animals on our highly-stocked farms fed."
It's a bleak assessment from a man who began his farming career in 1975 as a teenager and who now believes that the weather is the biggest "unknown" facing the Irish farming sector.
"I have experienced a drought in all the decades I have been working on the farm but nothing like this year," John says glumly.
"Maybe there is something in this climate change theory, and with our carbon emissions so high, maybe we will be forced to cut back our stocking rates."