Rare Breed – A Farming Year continues on Thursday at 8.30pm UTV where farmers are enjoying the June weather; some are making hay, while for others, trees are topped, sheep are sheared, slurry is spread and orchards are opened to the public.
Last week’s show was once again the most watched programme in Northern Ireland at 8.30pm with over 150,000 viewers tuning in, equating to a 27% share of the entire NI viewing audience.
Harvesting a bumper crop of hay
The summer heatwave means that the WILSONS in FERMANAGH can harvest a bumper crop of hay. Even a broken-down tractor and Robbie’s exams don’t stop the work, which is just as well, given that the harsh winter has meant that all the reserves are depleted, so a good crop of silage is needed for the following winter. Cindy’s 85-year-old father also lends a hand to bring in 244 bales of hay!
Spreading slurry, a dairy event and shearing
Victor Chestnutt is far from home in Bushmills this week, as he attends a dairy event in Hillsborough, finding out about fertilisers and the environmental impact of ammonia. He points out how all those attending value finding out about the latest in fertilisation techniques and their environmental impact and highlights how farmers want to be part of the solution.
The McGilligans are shearing the 600-strong flock; young Cahir is in the thick of it, helping gather up all the wool. Caron McGeough is slurry spreading; she loves her red tractor and talks about her lifelong interest in the machinery.
Also, in Armagh, the McKeevers have opened their doors to the public as part of the Open Farm Weekend Scheme, giving people from the town an opportunity to see how they operate and where their food comes from.
Shaping trees and irrigating vegetables
In Dundonald, Tony Johnston is shaping trees to ensure they grow to the proper shape for Christmas. The strong winds don’t help their work, but it’s the first chance he and his team have had to be out, as they have just finished a long contracting season.
This episode finishes off with Alex Lyttle in Newtownards - probably the only farmer looking for a bit of rain in the good weather; he’s irrigating the vegetables, using a tanker that was only used once last year.
UTV’s Mark McFadden narrates the series – sponsored by Dale Farm – which continues on Thursday (February 21st) at 8:30pm on UTV.