Sowing cabbage in Offaly

Kevin Scully driving the tractor for Pat O'Meara of Fortal Cottage Produce sowing cabbage plants at Fortal, Birr, Co Offaly. Pat sows 100 acres for Meade Farm who supply Lidl and another 30 acres for Milne Foods in Birr. Pat also sells his fruit and veg at local farmers markets. Pat is sowing 20,000 plants to the acre and these will be ready to harvest in 60 days. \ Odhran Ducie

Pat O'Meara of Fortal Cottage Produce sowing cabbage plants at Fortal, Birr, Co Offaly. \ Odhran Ducie

\ Odhran Ducie

\ Odhran Ducie

Shearing in Galway

Tom Kennedy and his son Igan take a break from selling shearing equipment to shear almost 500 sheep for John Mellett in Bolisheen, Co Galway. The sheep shearing season has been slow to kick-off with broken weather limiting opportunities for shearing to take place. \ Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

\Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

Igan Kennedy shearing in Galway. \ Philip Doyle

Tom Kennedy shearing in Galway. \ Philip Doyle

Tom Kennedy. \ Philip Doyle

John Mellett in Bolisheen, Co Galway. \ Philip Doyle

Mairead Coyne, Igan Kennedy, John Pardven, Tom Kennedy and John Mellett \ Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

Local farmer John Pardven helps during shearing. \ Philip Doyle

Keeping traditions alive in Galway

Cattle traders Paul Rigney and his son Cian from Roscrea in Co Tipperary selling cattle in the square of Mountbellew, Co Galway. \ Philip Doyle

Paul has been trading cattle for 40 years and he too started with his father. \ Philip Doyle

Mountbellew has been listed as a market town dating back to the late 19th century. It is one of a small number of towns in Ireland where a market is still held on a Tuesday.\ Philip Doyle

Local drystock farmer Tommy Nicholson has his eye on three calves and discusses them with cattle trader Christy Morrissey. \ Philip Doyle

\ Philip Doyle

Silage in Cork

Daly Agri, Midleton, Co Cork, busy bringing in first-cut silage for a local farmer. \ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

Peak milk week

Neilus Keane driving for Martin Ryan and Sons unloading a load of milk at the Dairygold plant in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, during a week of peak milk. \ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

\ Donal O' Leary

Cooley Sheep Breeders Association’s special sale, Carnaross Mart, Co Meath

Anthony Curry from Athboy, Co Meath, holding 11-week-old Rex the pup and Julianne Corrigan, with Kerry, the pup's mother. The pups were sold at Carnaross Mart, Co Meath. \ Damien Eagers

Tommy Healy from Roundwood, Wicklow, speaks to Anthony Tuite, Clogherhead, Co Louth, and Graham Hatch, Clogherhead, Co Louth. \ Damien Eagers

Ciaran Murray from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, examines the teeth of a ewe. \ Damien Eagers

Eppie and her sister Mae Delany from Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. \ Damien Eagers

Richard Shaw holds a pair of sheepdog pups as they go for sale. \ Damien Eagers

Evaine Healy from Roundwood, Co Wicklow, offers her grandfather Tommy Healy her lollipop. \ Damien Eagers

Evaine Healy from Roundwood, Co Wicklow, looks at a ewe and her lamb before the Cooley Sheep Breeders Association’s special sale. \ Damien Eagers

Winners and weather

The overall winner of the Teagasc and Tillage Industry Ireland, ‘Tillage Biodiversity Photo Competition’ is Christopher Bourke, Kanturk, Co Cork, for his photo showing an ‘Orange Tip Butterfly and friend on a charlock plant’. The Teagasc and Tillage Industry Ireland ‘Tillage and Biodiversity Photo Competition’ aimed to highlight crop production in Ireland and biodiversity on tillage farms. The winning photos were announced by head of the Teagasc Crops, Environment and Land Use programme John Spink. He said: “There were a lot of great entries and it’s really interesting to see what tillage farmers are doing to maintain and encourage biodiversity, both within, and around their crops. This means recognising and protecting what you have already, as well as doing specific other things.” Speaking on behalf of the judges of the competition, Fiona Hutton, Teagasc crops research, said: “The judges thought that the photo was exceptional, with excellent clarity and lighting and of very high technical quality. The image captured the theme of the competition and demonstrated the role of native arable wildflowers in supporting declining butterfly species and valuable pollinators such as hoverflies.” On being informed that he won the competition, Christopher Bourke commented that he has a lot of biodiversity on his farm and that photography is a hobby and he is an active member of the Mallow Camera Club.

The old Irish saying that 'a wet and windy May, fills the barns with corn and hay' will be well tested this year, as these are the exact conditions that prevailed in most areas of the country through May. The picture shows a heavy shower of rain and hailstones moving in over Graiguenamanagh in Co Kilkenny. While the rain was generally welcome, all farmers will want to see dry conditions in the coming weeks to enable silage harvesting and crop spraying and to minimise general disease pressure. \ Philip Doyle