'The winters are getting wetter and farming getting harder'
My week: Francis Tyrell, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, farmer and Agricultural contractor
Work is ramping up for Francis Tyrrell as the springtime arrives and the days get a little longer.
The farmer and agricultural contractor who works with some 80 farmers in the hinterland of his home base at Sonna outside Mullingar.
He has just completed a day spreading slurry and reviewing his work schedule for the upcoming months.
Hedges cutting and slurry spreading are the main tasks for the next few weeks, then some site work followed by spraying fertiliser and come the start of May it will be hell for leather with moving and baling silage.
"It will be mayhem by then. It'll be 7am to 2am days and Sundays as well. The phone will be ringing all the time," Francis says.
"But things are pretty busy at the moment and we are getting on with the hedge cutting before the deadline at the end of the month. I can't understand why we are not allowed continue the hedge cutting into next month because the birds don't really start building the nests until the end of March," he says.
His contracting company, which operates from the family's 100ac home farm in Westmeath with an extra 100ac rented, had to purchase piped slurry spreading machinery to deal with the wet conditions on farms in the region caused by the winter storms and flooding chaos in the Shannon basin.
In rough expansion terms the amount of baling the Tyrrells are doing has risen four-fold since when Francis started back with his father James around 15 years ago.