We are rapidly approaching the most important income generating deadline of the year for many farmers.

As we go to press, despite the fact that there are close to 50,000 farmers yet to submit an application in the final 10 days, the deadline for the BISS application remains 15 May (next Wednesday).

The advice remains to get an application in and to make amendments after if necessary.

The very fact that there are so many ploughed fields still not sown in parts of the country, with the best land, shows the continued after-effects of a horrendous six months of weather and the impact it can have on the workload and mental wellbeing of farmers.

Tillage progress ongoing in spite of poor weather

Driving from Birr to Kilkenny on Tuesday, it was clear there is still a huge amount of fieldwork ongoing this week in the bread basket of Ireland.

In many cases, the fields have been ploughed and await proper drying before the next wave of machinery can make progress.

Siobhán Walsh suggests that between 20%-30% of the cropping area, including beet and maize crops, have yet to be planted.

So while many consider the tillage work complete, spare a thought for those farmers that complete a lot of their own work and still have plenty of work ongoing.

The positive is many of the April sown spring barley crops have emerged healthy and green, giving some chance that they will capture the light and heat over the coming weeks and months, and justify the costs incurred and risk taken by farmers.

Spare a thought also for those farming in south Wexford, which clearly has been hit with exceptional rainfall compared to most other parts of the country.