Sheep shearing is in full swing across the country.

Many shearers are experiencing busy diaries, a lack of workers and farmers panicking to get the job done.

Kelsey Daly caught up with some shearers around the country to see how they are getting on with work this year.

Jack O’Connor, Co Kerry

“Fly strike hasn’t been too bad so far, but it’s gone humid in the last few days, so the flies will probably be getting worse.

"They haven’t done too much damage to sheep yet, but this week will tell a lot with the drop of rain we got.

“People are ringing to shear earlier this year than the last few years. When the hot weather came, some farmers were panicking that there would be a lot of fly strike. But there will be a big rush now in the month on June.

“The price of wool is nothing at the moment - it's a shame like, with the work that's involved. You’re not getting the value out of the product.”

George Graham, Co Wexford

“We are very busy, I think we were a bit later starting this year because sheep weren’t really fit to shear until into May. Some sheep are still quite hard to shear because the nights are still a bit cold.

“About two to three weeks ago, the fly strike was bad, there was a bit of clammy weather, but since the dry hot weather came in, it hasn’t been too bad.

"It would be helpful if some farmers can put on the preventative, as shearers can only be in one place at a time.”

There is a scarcity of shearers and it's also quite expensive to get into

“There is a scarcity of shearers and it's also quite expensive to get into shearing, you have to buy a machine and a shearing trailer or the likes.

“At the moment, it is costing farmers a lot of money to get their sheep shorn. Most shearers are around the €3 [mark] and they might have to pay someone to come help them for the day.

“The Government needs to be prepared to step in and put measures in place to help farmers with shearing.

"It's an animal welfare issue and the wool needs to be removed each year. I do hope that the wool board will find a profitable market for wool, as it has no value at the minute.”

Johnny Patterson, Co Donegal

“Even though the sun has been shining, we are still shearing the same number of sheep.

"It’s not like we were lying idle other years, we could always do the work in sheds. This year, everyone thinks we should be getting away better.

“Sheep aren’t coping too bad with this heat. Just as long as the farmer doesn’t run them in and out of the field - once you get there, they should be ok. The main thing would be that farmers are organised.

“There are farmers ringing a bit earlier this year than we would normally shear in late June, but we are telling them it's going to be the same time as last year.

“It’s a disaster trying to get lads to shear with you, I can get no young fellas, sure it's slavery work really.

“Farmers should dag the ewes and put on something to prevent the fly. It should tie them over for the next few weeks because they will have to wait for the shearer.”

Tom O’Connor, Co Kerry

“We are flat out - we're losing sheep because we can't get to them we are that busy.

"We deal with mainly larger flocks - anything less than 150 we really don’t have interest in. I’ve two shearing trailers and six lads working for me. A lot of my customers are based in Galway, with some in Clare and Tipperary as well.

“We are probably ahead of ourselves in some ways, but we have more customers. We have some mountain sheep shorn already, which we generally wouldn’t be doing for another few weeks.

“Farmers need to think about putting on a fly strike preventative [measure] because it will be a few weeks before we get to them and with this change in weather, the fly strike will be bad this week.”

Roy Collier, Co Wexford

“We are flat to the mat shearing with the way the weather has been. In this part of the world, I’d say we are over the worst of the fly strike.

"It would have been bad about two weeks ago, but it has settled down now, they didn’t do that much harm, just around the tail area mainly.

“Sheep haven’t been that easy to shear - you need the bit of humid weather, yet farmers are ringing looking to get the shearing done nearly three weeks earlier than normal.

"We might be about a week ahead of ourselves, as we have had no stopping due to rain or anything.

“There are less of the big contractors around shearing; farmers panic and if any shearer says they can come tomorrow, they will go with them.

“You would think that there should be some connection with farmer, shearer and wool merchant, but that hasn’t come yet. Hopefully, this new wool board will figure out some way to make those links valuable.”