Making the most of mixed grassland
A picture tells a thousand words, as they say. This 195hp tractor got stuck while tilling ground for reseeding on Seamus Quigley's dairy farm in Galway last week.
Despite spending €10,000 on drainage work over the last number of months, Mr Quigley knows that he is not finished spending yet if he is to avoid sights like this occurring in his fields.
"We started cleaning out drains back in March because we got a really dry spell, and with the way the weather went in the summer last year, we were worried about leaving it any later in the year. If I didn't get these pastures up to speed, it was going to break us," said Mr Quigley.
The Nenagh man is well known in dairying circles, having built from scratch a 500-cow herd that is now milked on the 500ac Ballydugan estate near Loughrea in south Galway.
More recently, he formed a partnership with former Holstein breeder, Noel Kelly in Athenry where he has started to milk another herd of cows.
Despite having more than 500 map acres on the wooded estate, Mr Quigley is currently able to graze just under 400ac of them.
"This is a great block of land and we're lucky to be in here, but there are large parts of the farm that are very difficult, despite all the work that we've done so far," he said.
The farm is still a work in progress, and with a stocking rate of more than four cows per hectare on the milking platform, Mr Quigley's immediate focus this year has been to get his paddocks producing lots of top quality grass.