It was bank holiday Monday before I got a chance to visit Bloom in the Phoenix Park, the annual Bord Bia-led food and garden extravaganza.

In a way, I thought the crowds might be less on a bank holiday – how wrong I was.

The walkways were thronged, there was a queue for most food outlets, and the food tents were packed to capacity.

Everywhere there was a buzz and an excitement despite the fact that it was day four for the standholders, the exhibitors, and the gardens.

The organisation, the smooth running, and the weather of course made the event spectacular and well worth the effort.

It really is a showcase of food from right around the country and a real eye opener to many city and urban dwellers about what rural Ireland can do with hard work and dedication given half a chance. Well done to all who participated.

Lamb sector needs support

The spring lamb trade has taken a slight knock in the last few weeks, but expectations that the price was going to fall off a cliff seem to have subsided.

Prices around €9/kg deadweight seem to be holding up in marts around the country on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Essentially that means the 43kg and 44kg lambs are coming in close to €190 per head. For good operators this will work, but it’s hard earned.

Investment to make it possible is necessary, and what this ultimately comes back to is supporting the sector.

One sheep farmer said to me this week he is not sure why he hadn’t invested in proper handling facilities before now, as it takes a lot of the dragging and pulling out of the game.

The sheep shearing championships in Galway last weekend highlighted once again the dedication and hard work required to keep sheep maintaining certain parts of the upland country where no other animals will go.

It was great to see so many young people involved.

Beef price rise imminent

It certainly looks like the ingredients for a beef price rise are on the cards.

The tight supply situation, the demand spiking as various sporting events take place and more consistent weather will mean further demand spikes as we head into summer.

For many, the selling season has passed and cattle are now thriving on green pastures, but the rising price will lift all boats so expect to see higher prices in marts as numbers dwindle and exporters remain active for growing cattle.