Fears for 'thin' cows as nightmare spring continues for farmers
Fodder shortage hit farmers are set to get no respite this week as Met Eireann are forecasting frost, hail, thunder and temperatures as low as 0C.
Farmers will be counting the costs of mounting feed and forage bills for months to come.
Vets and AI technicians looking towards the breeding season for cow herds have warned there may be a costly knock-on impact. Tipperary-based vet Eamon O'Connell said that in some cases cows were "thin", and that a good body condition score was vital ahead of breeding.
"We are expecting a lot of repeats from the first service. It will affect compact calving; there will be more empty cows and later calving," he said.
Meanwhile, Agri-advisors have raised concerns about the pressures being placed on tillage farmers with the volume of work left to be completed due to the late spring.
George Ramsbottom urged farmers to reach out to each other and talk about their heavy workloads and the financial costs of the harsh winter.
"There is a level of depression at farm level that I wouldn't have seen for a number of years. It has been a long, hard few weeks.
"Basically some people are still in winter mode. There is an awareness that this year is not going to be as good a year as other years," he said.