Farm Ireland

Tuesday 24 April 2018

Weather at fault as wells running dry

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The extended dry spell is being blamed for a surge in the number of wells running dry in the southeast this week.

According to well driller Mossy Rourke, some areas are worse than others and he is exceptionally busy with calls from farmers whose wells have run dry for the first time ever.

"We haven't had any decent rain down here all summer," said Mr Rourke, who added that an increase in cow numbers was also having a big impact.

Tom Jackman, who milks 80 cows at Adamstown in Co Wexford, is just one of the farmers that have been affected.

"Our 60ft well was an old well but it had served us well on this farm for generations," he said. "But the combination of the dry weather and an increase in cows forced us to drill a new bore to 140ft last month. I also know of another farmer locally that had similar problems."

However, another Wexford farmer, Boolavogue-based Tom O'Loughlin, has also experienced problems with his well water supply for the first time in 40 years and says it is all down to the weather.

"We've been milking 120 cows here for years without any big problem," he said. "But our 83ft well has run dry in the last week."

Rainfall has been low across the country in general this year but Johnstown Castle in Wexford recorded just 40pc of its normal precipitation in the past month.

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