Ignore it at your peril – the 7.55am RTÉ Radio One Met Éireann weather forecast is still hugely important.

Yes, I know most people have 24-hour access to weather apps but the five-to-eight forecast – as it is affectionately known – is the sacred cow of weather forecasts and an unearthly silence sweeps across the land while it is on.

School children know to shut up and eat their Weetabix while the Met Éireann forecaster is speaking and wives (or partners) have been castigated for rattling the breakfast cutlery in the dishwasher.

The family Jack Russell knows to stop whinging at the door for the few minutes which seems like an eternity.

One plaintive whinge during a bad forecast will be enough for a size eight Buckler boot to rapidly connect with her rear end and send her into orbit.

After all, the day’s activities – or those of the week ahead – will be guided by that forecast.

Even the cows know to keep quiet at this time in the parlour or risk a skelp of an ash plant.

Isn’t it wearisome to be in an occupation that is so guided by the weather forecast? Sometimes I think that I’d love to work in a bright office behind a great big desk and be surrounded by blondes and brunettes and not to give two hoots about the forecast. But many other occupations are affected by the weather forecast.

However, what makes farming unique is that farmers are not so much interested in the day ahead but, more importantly, the pattern over the next few days.

A dodgy forecast at 7.55am may mean a swift call to the contractor to abort the mowing or to get cracking and be promptly in the field by 10am, GMT. I say GMT because some contractors such as Bruno McCormack operate in different time zones. In Bruno’s case, it’s usually OMT – Oldcastle Mean Time, which is anything up to half a day behind.

However, at the risk of repetition, I believe most people hear what they want from the forecast.

If you did a survey and asked 10 people to listen to the same forecast and to summarise it afterwards, you’d get 10 different variants ranging from there’s a good spell coming (totally inaccurate) to unsettled for the next month (wildly inaccurate).

Out of the 10, a school teacher planning a field trip or a UCD-educated ag graduate might make a reasonable stab at an accurate summary. There’s a chance a Ballyhaise College guy might get it right as well but it’s easy for them as it’s always raining, or about to rain, in Cavan.

But there were no such weather concerns for our winter barley harvest. In beautiful harvest weather, the grain moisture plummeted to below 15%. The Claas combine had a lovely christening in clouds of dust and the average yield was 3.7t/acre across the weighbridge. It’s a satisfactory result for us but perhaps suggests that we may not be blown away by the wheat yields.

The two-row barley Infinity was our highest yielder at 4.09t/acre followed by the hybrid six-row Quadra. Cassia was below average at 3.5t/acre but with superb quality.

Moving some bought-in stores, one lunatic red Limousin – what else – cleared two fences and raced down the road. I managed to turn him with the jeep but he cleared the hedge and disappeared into perfect camouflage in a field of desiccated rape, which is 6ft tall.

He’s not been seen since but if you come across him, whether it be in Clonakilty or Letterkenny do give me a call.