Garrigue McCullough: fatigue is a big problem for farmers and the consequences can be deadly

  • Garrigue McCullough: fatigue is a big problem for farmers and the consequences can be deadly
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    We had our first meeting of the ear on the Ground in the last week before production getting in gear for the new season.

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We had our first meeting of the ear on the Ground in the last week before production getting in gear for the new season.

There has been much debate around the table about whether This was a watershed year for many farmers.

In particular, the theory is that dairy farmers are looking for ways to trim their expansion and beef farmers just give up this winter, preferring instead to flog their silos for a small fortune and avoid the hassle and risk of trying over-winter composition.

I have to admit that I have yet to meet a farmer who plans to continually reduce the number.

At home we took the same actions, like most others in the culling of animals that may be 50: 50 in any other year, as well as preparation for the earlier dry period, and looking for excess replacement heifers.

General fatigue is probably the most important factor on farms now, but not urgent needs for the latest expansion.

I see it in myself over the past week: not a great appetite for solving new jobs, counting down the days and hours before the end of the current cycle of work, hauling myself to bed surprisingly early, hours in the evening.

Small things suffer in these periods.

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For us, the farmers not having enough forage to feed his stock of nightmares.

I be more irritable, nervous and upset needlessly over things that in retrospect is irrelevant. It affects the people around you if they will work with you or just tolerate you.

Tricky jobs like reversing a trailer into a tight spot or getting the damn computer to again communicate with the printer suddenly become ball-breakers.

I also found myself a little slack with the security procedures, as I am leaving the hi-viz that I’ve told you all about all year. That’s when terrible mistakes happen, and God knows I reported enough to know better.

So I was thrilled when I got to the Ryanair flight to Warsaw in Poland last Thursday to see if I could build on my first export Narcissus last spring.

In grain and straw was all sold; the excess daffodil bulbs were packaged and delivered, while others were planted in excellent conditions and in record time.

My summer flowers come to an end and it’s just a case togging it every morning to cut and pack a few pallets.

There are always niggly fears that the party might get somewhere rejected for some reason.

It’s a bit like when you have livestock there is no reason why any of them should be sick, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

I think farmers tend to underestimate the low level constant stress associated with the responsibility of farming.

For example, I just claimed that we are on easy street with flowers because we deliver only a few weeks, and the crop can be cut in the field. But if comes a hail-storm or a hurricane, it can destroy the crop.

Unlikely, but these are things that will not allow you to breathe too easily until it’s all over.

It was one thing that struck my father quite violently, when he hung suspended forever. Whether it is an animal that is sick or a delivery that goes wrong, what the background of stress is constantly referred to was suddenly gone.

Of course, getting on a plane to sell flowers not quite what my wife would call calm.

But in the beginning of the final stage is what every farmer needs to build in your calendar.

Long cold winter followed by a difficult summer has forced everyone to work longer and harder than ever.

Every farmer must admit that for yourself. More importantly, they need to do something to combat it. That is, at least for a while. Chill. Say no to additional tasks or contract them.

As an aside, I was raging with Ryanair a few weeks ago when they cancelled my return flight home from visiting flower farms in Lincolnshire.

They sent a text about four hours before I had to fly. I can’t find another Ryanair flight home this evening from any airport I could go at the time. And I had a Dutch agronomist came to see me the next day at high speeds, so I’m going to do everything in my power to get back home.

I’m eventually willing to pay around €300 to catch the Aer Lingus flight home.

A week later I filled Ryanair compensation form without much hope for a full refund. Lo and behold, more than a full refund landed in my account within a week.

When I thought about it, I realized that without Ryanair I would never be able to reach similar Lincolnshire or Poland, or fly to agronomists from the Netherlands.

It is available international access to markets and the people who built your farm business.

This often maligned cheapest flight model that allows me to access labour from Romania that all my equipment dependent.

Think about it, if anyone deserves a bouquet of flowers, it has to be Michael O’leary.

Garrigue McCullough farms in Meath and presented the ear to the Ground on RTE television

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