German students come to the rescue of farmer with 1,200 ewes
It is a spring that will stick in the memories of farmers for a long time to come.
Sheep farmer John Fagan from Gartlandstown, Co Westmeath - who has already delivered over 1,200 lambs so far this year - explained the severe pressures facing farmers as they were unable to get stock out of sheds and into the fields due to the cold, wet weather.
The Westmeath farmer was facing a severe labour shortage this year with difficulties recruiting a full-time worker, until three German students joined him for the lambing season.
"I'd have been under severe pressure only for the three students. They've been massively helpful. It would have been impossible," said Mr Fagan.
"It is a spring that will stick long in my memory - either as one to forget or one to remember and learn from. "I won't physically be able to do it again. I can imagine it being very tough for older farmers or those who couldn't get help."
There is mounting concern over the potential fodder shortages, with many parts of the south and south-east now feeling the pinch.
Soil conditions and continuing poor grass growth has prevented farmers from letting stock back out to the fields.
With many farmers running low on fodder, farm advisors have warned that the situation could escalate into a serious fodder crisis unless the weather improves.