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More weather woes for farmers

Wednesday, 4th July, 2018 4:44pm

A Courtmacsherry dairy farmer has said he is worried about the lack of rain for the farming community in Cork.

Harold Kingston, Chair of the Cork Central Irish Farmers Association, is worried because there is no prospect of rain as the warm weather continues to visit the country.

He said: “Two things are happening. The first is that we had to drive on hard to try to build up enough fodder for next winter and that is proving difficult because we're actually feeding them silage at the moment as opposed to growing silage.

“The second is to do with water supplies. Wells are not under pressure but mains and group water systems are under pressure. Farmers need to be careful as animals are drinking a lot of water at the moment because of the hot weather.”

He told the Cork Independent that there's been a series of weather problems in the past year from Storm Ophelia, to Storm Emma and now lack of rain during the summer months.

“The trouble is that if grass grows dormant, it takes another ten days after it getting rain to grow properly,” he added.

He also said it's hard to know how crops are going to yield with the lack of water. However, he has said that while fruit crops seem to be smaller, they are sweeter as the sun produces more sugars.

Anglers warned

Meanwhile, anglers and the general public have been asked to report sightings of distressed fish during this hot weather.

The call came from Inland Fisheries Ireland who said that fish may be unwell because of high water temperatures and low water levels.

The fishing body is also asking anglers to voluntarily cease using ‘keep nets’ during this period to avoid causing unintentional distress to fish kept for long periods.

The public is invited to make reports of fish in distress to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24 Hour Hotline on 1890-347424 or 1890-FISH24.

Inland Fisheries Ireland says its staff will continue to monitor water bodies for any signs of distressed fish in shallow water, but will be able to react more quickly to timely reports received.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Low water levels and high water temperatures may lead to fish kills. The temperatures are dangerously hot at the moment and fish kills may be unavoidable.”

He added: “In some instances, moving fish may prove too stressful. We would ask anglers practising catch and release fishing during this hot spell to consider taking a break from fishing entirely until conditions are more favourable.”

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