The weather in Ireland is mild or temperate as they receive warming from the Gulf of Mexico. There is neither a dry or wet season; however, it is "damp" for all seasons making it very favorable for growing grass. They have a 10 month growing season for growing grasses. They can grow 15 tons to a hector (approx. 2 acres) and 3 cows can be fed during the year off of 15 acres. Through research and experimental growing methods they are striving for 20 -26 tons per hector to be able to increase their dairy or beef herds to 4-5 cows per hector.
There are 70, 000 farms in Ireland with 20,000 farmers; 18,000 being dairy farmers and the other 2,000 being beef, poultry, and pigs farmers. The farms in Ireland are handed down from family to family. It is very hard to increase your farm size through purchasing more land. Many farmers are going to leasing because owners of the land are not farming their land as they have other jobs, so they lease out their land rather than sell it. Even though they don't farm the land it is very important to Irish families to keep the land in their families as "the land" is very much honored.
Tim , an farming host and lecturer from stated he likes the Albert Einstein quote "Madness is doing the same thing and expecting different results", he has become a very proactive farmer. His 22 year old son is attending the agriculture college in Dublin and he has plans to return to the dairy operation and farm after graduation. They live on a fourth generation farm and currently have 160 cows (20 - 40 - 80 - 160) which is a larger dairy operation. Ninety six of these cows can only be used for milking due to governmental restrictions.
The land in Ireland is not surveyed; however, knowledge of the boundaries of the various farms are described in the legal documents by roads, streams, and stone walls and maps. The British mapped the country in the nineteenth century.
Farming in the Cork area is some of the most fertile and their you will see vegetable crops and plasti culture (raised rows covered in plastic for moisture control). The plasti culture is used mainly for potatoes. Through intensive farming in the region distillers malt and barley are grown as well as rape seed for pharmaceutical purposes and cooking oil (canola oil). Three hundred cow dairies are also seen in this area due to the ability to grow silage so well. They can bail 10-12 acres of silage a day and then bail it covering it in black plastic or putting it in silage pits with black plastic. The Ireland Farmers Association (IFA) collects the plastic to be recycled.
- Many of the farmers belong to co-ops and the Coops help the farmers with: pensions, farm accounting, selling products, and overseas marketing, etc.
- Henry Ford was born in Lismora (sp), the Ford name was Forde, but the e was dropped when the family came to the United States
- Dairy markets and prices are set by markets in the North American and New Zealand
- Government plantations are leased farms (for 30 years) for growing and harvesting timber. After the 30 years the lease ceases and the farms go back to the farmers.