Paudie Ryan, Cappamore with some of the silage he cut on Monday
CAPPAMORE dairy farmer Paudie Ryan wasn't relaxing on Bank Holiday Monday as five acres of silage was cut on his land in Cullina on Monday evening - it must be one of the first in County Limerick.
And he is going to make the most of the sunshine as it won’t be baled until Wednesday evening.
“The reason it is so early is because despite using all the tricks of the trade I found grazing the first rotation hard with the bad weather. Cows were out in early February but were forced indoors for a full week on two occasions.
“However, as it was so mild all year grass grew well, resulting in some paddocks going too strong for grazing. I normally graze all the silage ground first before closing.
“But I just couldn’t get around to this one and as it was way ahead of the other silage fields l thought it best to take it out now and take advantage of the fabulous weather. It should make excellent feed,” said Paudie, a former Limerick region winner at the Dairygold Milk Quality Awards.
Paudie doesn’t know if he is the first man to cut in the county but he was certainly the first to buy silage wrap from Tommy Ryan and the team at the Dairygold co-op store in Cappamore.
Separately, with the sun beating down this week farmers have been warned that they have a high risk of developing potentially fatal skin cancers due to the outdoor lifestyle.
According to the Irish Cancer Society, 23% of skin cancers occur in people who work out of doors. The charity wants farmers and builders, in particular, to be keenly aware of the risks of sun exposure.
“Farmers are outdoors from sunrise to sunset, and very often have no protection on their skin so are very vulnerable to skin cancer,” said IFA president, Joe Healy.
Log on to www.cancer.ie for tips on how best to protect your skin.