Bill O’Keeffe, Clara, Co Kilkenny - dairy farmer: "It’s not the snowfall that is the problem now but the drifts blown on to the road. We’re trying to keep the roads clear to let farmers get out with tractors to feed livestock.

Bill O'Keeffe out clearing snow on the roads near his farm in Kilkenny.Bill O'Keeffe clearing snow on roads near his farm in Kilkenny.

"Our milk was collected Friday and we’re OK until Monday. We milked this morning. Water froze to the automatic calf feeder but we got a pipe to bypass it and are leaving taps flowing. We’re scraping the yard every morning before we start work.

Bill O'Keeffe clearing snow in Kilkenny.

Bill O'Keeffe clearing snow in Kilkenny.

Bill O'Keeffe's yard in Clara, Co Kilkenny.

Bill O'Keeffe's yard in Clara, Co Kilkenny.

"All animals are fed and watered. I’ll let some of the cows out in the field from the open cubicles for a break later today. Calves are all healthy and we have 60 left to calve. We’ll need meal by next Tuesday or Wednesday."

Trevor Boland, Dromard, Co Sligo - suckler farmer: "We’re not too bad out here. It’s cold today and there’s only a little bit of snow. Just a sprinkling. Even last night we only had a small bit. The temperature is just above freezing. I’ve a couple of water troughs frozen but that’s it. We’ve really escaped it altogether. We live just a mile from the sea as the crow flies.

"The main roads are completely clear. But a lot of businesses are closed since 3pm yesterday when the red alert came into effect."

Brian Nicholson, Johnstown, Kilkenny – sheep farmer: “We weren’t too bad yesterday. There’s a few snow drifts around and the snowfall is picking up now.

“We have the sheep and lambs in the sheds and a small batch outside. All of them were OK when I checked them this morning.

“Space is starting to get tight now for the ones left to lamb. Last night (Thursday), we had seven sets of triplets, two couples and a few singles. We’ve 70 lambed so far.

“They slowed down lambing before the weather got bad. What we’re doing now is managing the lambing as best we can, getting water to them all too.

“I bought in a couple of pallets of wood shavings for the pens. That’s working a treat and saving me on straw.

“I’m off now to open up a path across the road. There’s a couple of feet of snow on the road.”

Julian Hughes, Kells, Kilkenny – root crop, cereal and vegetable farmer: “Up until yesterday we were lifting carrots. The roads were bad. We didn’t have any of our own lorries running yesterday.

“There’s about 25cm of snow out there now. On Monday and Tuesday we made a burst for it and harvested the non-straw carrots and put them in trailers in the shed.

“For parsnips and carrots, I’m not terribly worried. The snow is acting as a blanket; it is a bit of a positive for them.

“It’s when it melts that it will be a problem. There’ll be a lot of water. The ground was soaking up until a few days ago when we got a few dry days.

“The last couple of days have been a bit of a pressure relief. We can’t do any work. In one way it’s a positive.

“Now, the 2018 new season crop isn’t going to start on time, it’s postponed the start of the news. We had hoped to plant in January or February, but we haven’t had the chance yet.”

Jane Shackleton, Co Cavan – beef and sheep: "The snow is very bad up here; the roads are impassable. We’re tight on space. We usually calve outdoors but with the conditions we’ve been forced to move them indoors. We’re lucky we have a big enough shed and we’re calving cows in stables to ease the pressure. We’re just getting started calving so we have about 30 left. Luckily, our sheep are not due to start lambing until the end of March.

"Water in the sheds is all frozen. We’ve only one tap that is working, so we’re delivering water in wheelie bins and wheelbarrows.

"We should be OK for fodder. Grass growth is slower on organic farms so we have enough to last us until May. I bought another 10 bales recently, which should be enough to keep me going. Because we’re organic we are required to use straw to bed them so it’s very important.

"I don’t know how long it will last. The main thing is the cattle have water and bales in front of them."

James Strain, Co Donegal – beef: “It’s a bit stormy up here, although there is just a dusting of snow on the ground and a bit more on the hills. I was talking to a colleague in Buncrana and their power was gone for a while, but it is back again now.

“Water is frozen in the shed. I’m OK but anyone finishing cattle and feeding a lot of meal would be under pressure. I made the mistake of leaving the door of a shed open and the cold got to my tractor and froze the battery so I had a bit of trouble getting it started.

“I work for a local co-op. There were a few issues with lorries on the road, but it’s more or less OK.

“There have only been two weeks between 15 August and today when I didn’t have cattle in a shed. On a good year, they’ll all be out by 1 April at the earliest, but on a bad year it could be 1 June when the shed is empty.”

Covering of snow in Omagh

Compared with other areas, Omagh and west Tyrone have escaped relatively lightly in the present storm. There is a good covering but the strong winds have caused drifts where there are gaps in hedges.

So far in the mid-Tyrone area, farmers seem to be coping. Andrew Caldwell, chair of the Mid-Tyrone group of the Ulster Farmers Union, told the Irish Farmers Journal on Friday morning that so far it seemed to be a normal winter storm and that farmers were managing. He did, however, say that there was plenty of work involved in keeping water drinkers running, especially where they are exposed.

Foyle Meats, which has three factories in the northwest in Omagh, Derry and Cargins, Co Donegal, has reported that it has no issues with the weather and is working as normal.

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