'Plan how to get food to your stock'- advice for farmers facing the first snowfall of 2019

Sheep keeping an eye out for the Beast from the East in 2018. Pic Steve Humphreys
Sheep keeping an eye out for the Beast from the East in 2018. Pic Steve Humphreys
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

Farmers in the north and west of the country and upland regions are set to face their first significant snowfall of the year.

Met Eireann put in place a status yellow weather warning nationwide at 9pm last night, and a snow-ice warning is in place until 11am today.

According to Met Éireann, icy and slippery conditions are expected due to the accumulation of ice and snow on untreated surfaces.

“It will be very cold today with sunny spells and occasional wintry showers. There'll be longer spells of rain in west and south Munster. Showers will be isolated in east Leinster. Highest temperatures of 3 to 6 degrees with moderate to fresh, gusty west to northwest winds. It will be coldest in Ulster,” the forecaster stated.

Tonight will be dry in most areas with clear spells.

Some further wintry showers in parts of the southwest, west and north are also expected.

Lowest temperatures of -2 to +1 degrees are forecast for much of the country with a sharp frost and some icy patches. It will be a bit less cold in west Munster with lows of 2 to 4 degrees.

Wednesday morning will be dry in many areas with sunny spells and frost gradually clearing.

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Scattered showers are predicted to fall in the west and north. Cloudier conditions are expected in Munster with some rain and drizzle in the southwest, extending eastwards through the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will range from 3 degrees in the northeast to 9 or 10 degrees in the southwest with light westerly breezes.

Met Eireann stated that there would be very little opportunities for farmers to spray this week and night frosts are expected until tomorrow night

The Department of Agriculture Twitter page issued advice on how farmers can best look after their animals during the cold snap. Advice included:

  • Plan how to get food and water to your stock
  • Prevent your machinery and water supplies freezing up by having thermostatically controlled heaters in the pump house
  • An insulation blanket/plastic sheet placed at the entrance to the milking parlour may help prevent milking machines from freezing up
  • Drain wash down pumps
  • Make sure to check the antifreeze levels in all of your engines
  • Have a plan to clear routes around your farm buildings and a stock of gritting material and salt
  • If you have to search for animals in the snow make sure to wear high visibility clothing so you are seen

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