The lockdown and current restrictions, in which we find ourselves, has led to an awful lot of changes most notably on our television screens, writes The Wexford Farmer.
GAA, horse racing, soccer and rugby have been replaced by repeats and reruns. This isn’t all bad news as it has seen the return of a modern classic.
The return of Love/Hate to our television screens has got me thinking as, we, as farmers, have got the original love/hate. Long before John Boy, Nidge & Co, we had our relationship with rain and the weather, in general.
No matter where you are in the country, talk to any farmer and it will only take about 5 seconds for them to mention the weather.
Nothing can dominate the agenda like it, there’s nothing like having hay or silage on the ground to keep your mind focused on religiously checking Met Eireann every 55 seconds.
At home, you’d be a brave soul to open your mouth when a weather presenter is giving the auld lad the good or more often than not, bad news of the day. The only thing that maybe comes close this time of year is the spuds. What are the new spuds like? Are they flowery? Are they too soapy?
At the moment, rain is where our love/hate relationship is mostly focused. In recent times, we have all been struggling with dry and drought-like conditions and the arrival of the rain over most of the country has been like manna from heaven for most.
It is a welcome to sight to cereal and vegetable growers, many of whom had been irrigating crops. So, at the moment we LOVE it.
However, ask any farmer’s wife, we are a notoriously difficult lot to please.
Give it a broken week and you will have men fretting over getting the weather to make the hay or there will be talk of cows mucking up paddocks etc.
Mother nature herself tried very hard to please us last week with all the localised thundery downpours. At home, we had 10mm of rain in the yard one evening while about a km away at the other block of ground, there wasn’t a drop.
I guess she has learned you can’t please all the people all the time and decided to give all a shot of good decent rain.
Now, don’t get me wrong all this rain is a welcome guest, but it has seen the arrival of another love/hate subject in my house… the wet day.
I don’t mean a day that’s raining, I mean the arrival of all those dreaded indoor jobs you told yourself or your wife you would do on ‘the next wet day’.
This has been compounded by the fact we haven’t has a wet day in about three months or so. I have a box of receipts & records all waiting to be sorted and documented into their various places along with a to-do list as long as my arm from the wife.
At the first sign of rain late last week, it was ‘suggested’ by the wife that I tackle some of these jobs.
Luckily, I was able to explain that the fertiliser had to be spread, so that bought me another few days of blissful procrastination.
Alas, today there was no avoiding it. Here I am at the kitchen table, which is under siege from invoices, receipts, various documents and waiting to be sorted, paid of binned.
Instead, I am writing this to avoid ‘the wet day’ jobs.
The say goes be careful what you wish for - when my wife sees the kitchen table later on, that’s what I am going to tell her. As I look outside at the sheets of rain hitting the glass and I can’t help but think the same thing, the rain is a welcome guest once it knows when to leave!
On the plus side, at least the grass is growing, cattle are content, and the crops are improving.
I might even just watch an episode of Love/Hate seeing as it’s raining.