'There's more red tape creeping in all the time'
When are the bureaucrats going to run out of red tape?
That's the simple question Roscommon farmer Derek Richardson would like to ask Agriculture Minister Michael Creed although he accepts that the reply is most likely to be never.
"It's more and more red tape all the time and I hear there is more creeping up on us. All silly rules. Look at the slurry deadlines for an example.
"We haven't been able to get out for weeks but we are being tied up by rules from the department.
"Why can't they allow farmers to do what they have been doing successfully all their lives," the 43-year- old father- of-four asks.
Derek has just completed work on a new Dairymaster milking parlour - "with all the bells and whistles" - on his 250 acre farm on the Roscommon-Mayo border.
He is happy with the current 37c/l plus he is receiving from the Aurivo co-op and the extra few cents per litre he gets for the milk he supplies to a local cheese maker.
About a quarter of the 6,000 litres of milk which he is producing weekly goes to the cheesemaker who makes soft and semi-hard Swiss cheeses at a plant near the Richardson's farm.