What a difference a few sunny, dry warm days can make, now at the end of April!

After one of the worst autumn, winter and spring seasons, combined with constant rain and little sunshine, farming activities were at least one to two months behind schedule.

In fact, the problem was not just confined to the northwest, as in some previous years, but all of the British Isles has been having serious weather problems, delaying the planting of cereals, potatoes and vegetables.

For livestock farmers, the situation was exacerbated by the wet autumn months, preventing slurry tanks from being emptied, and creating a storage problem this spring.

But since Friday last, the sun began to shine with temperatures over the weekend in the mid to late teens.

By the beginning of this week, some of the ground was beginning to dry enough to allow slurry and fertiliser to be spread, and the planting of crops also began in earnest.

One Fermanagh farmer, Alan Burleigh near Lisnaskea, mowed an early silage crop for baling to produce high-quality feed for his dairy herd next winter.

For farmers on a four- or five-cut silage system, the first cut needs to be made by the beginning of May, with regular cuttings over the next four months.