'We fed all the way to May and now we are back feeding again'
"An inch of rain would be a lot better to us now than a bag of fertiliser," is Owen Hallahan's take on the recent drought conditions.
The west Waterford dairy farmer is milking 200 cows on what he describes as "wicked dry ground" at Aglish, between Cappoquin and Dungarvan.
Like every other farmer in the southeast, Owen has struggled to keep grass in front of his cows over the last week as the dry weather has taken its toll.
While grass growth was up on 50kg/ha/day 10 days ago, it has now fallen to around 30kg/ha/day.
"And given the weather that is forecast, it's only going one way," Owen says ruefully.
Owen is already feeding round bales of silage.
The cows are on 5kg of dairy ration, they get 9kg of grass, and the rest is silage.
He is trying to keep the paddock rotation at 25 days but he says that a lot of milking platform is beginning to "burn up".