A large banner with the headline, “If your cow doesn’t get the water, you won’t get the milk,” was a big draw at the Charleville Agricultural Show last weekend.
It was the stand of South Coast Sales, Ireland’s sole supplier of Philmac water fittings, where staff were busy imparting advice to farmers worried about their big herds going thirsty in the heat wave.
As the sun beat down on the 70-acre show site which was heaving last Saturday and Sunday with a big attendance, the large transparent tanks of cool water being pumped and circulated in front of the Philmac stand were enough to draw in the spectators.
“We have been very busy here all weekend,” said South Coast Sales MD Derry Casey.
“May is usually our busiest month, but this year, due to the outstanding weather, it’s been non-stop,” said Derry, beaming like the sun.
Water has become a scarce commodity, and an important commodity, particularly on dairy farms where in recent times installation of large water troughs has become a common practice.
But Derry has a special word of advice for dairy farmers embarking on a campaign of increasing the capacity of tanks. And that was not to ignore the size of the water pipes.
Derry said that a group of Irish dairy farmers on a recent New Zealand trip noted that water troughs out there are not huge, but the water pipes are.
“The trick of getting water to cows in a hurry is not solely about the high capacity of tanks, but the high flow of water,” Derry advises, recommending large bore pipes with hi-flow fittings.
“And what about the poor old water pump?” I ask.
“Surely the pump will need upgrading in that case?”
“No, not at all. Indeed it’s the opposite,” Derry states.
“There is far more pressure on a pump when water is being pumped through a smaller pipe.
“You will find the pump under far less pressure with larger pipes.
“And you will be under less pressure too as a result.”
So there you have it. No need to be getting hot and bothered after all.
Isn’t it amazing in farming, that in two months we can go from utter dejection to celebration.
From feelings of doom and foreboding, to ones of pride and promise, especially when you visit somewhere like the Charleville Agricultural Show, to see what a wonderful world we inhabit in rural Ireland, from the top class beef and dairy cattle on show, to the ponies and horses being put through their paces.
Everything from the vintage tractors and harvesters, to poultry and arts and crafts looked radiant in the summer sun.
We also took a beating from the sun. It was hard to escape the heat.
But our troubles were few, in comparison to the troubles of a bachelor farmer from Waterford who I met.
Tom Coffey was at Charleville Show in the midst of a sea of vintage tractors and cars.
Tom is one half of the comedic duo ‘Bachelors in Trouble’ and is still in trouble as he searches for that all elusive wife.
The is the 29th year (and 29th occasion) that the duo’s antics have been burned onto film, with plans well underway for a very special DVD next year to mark their 30th anniversary of failure.
“Perhaps, at last, it might be a wedding video?” I suggest.
“You never know,” Tom replies, with an ever hopeful look in his eye.
As the present Cork Rose, Erinn O’Connell, happened to be strolling about, I suggested to Tom that she might make a good catch, even though she lives in faraway Cork (Tony Coffey, who plays the part of Tom Coffey, is from Leamybrien, Co Waterford).
Tom assures me that distance would never be a problem.
I ask the character what kind of wife he is looking for.
“Someone who can feed the calves and hunt in the ducks. A girl not afraid of hard work.”
The Bachelors’ latest DVD, ‘Cold Showers and Hot Summers’ is all about their attempts to install an outdoor toilet and washing facility, after coming under sustained attack for smelling at Mass.
Tom is slow in promoting his DVD “for fear of the taxman,” but he has little to worry about, with the Kidney Association of Ireland and local PP Fr Delaney the main benefactors of the Bachelors in Trouble DVDs.
Long may they continue to be the mad devils that they are.
And so to the show results we go where, in the racehorse to riding horse qualifier for the Dublin Horse Show, 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack was the Charleville winner.
Exhibitors of the champions of the show included the following.
All-Ireland Junior Cow:
Supreme female champion:
Donie Neville; Reserve: John Barrett.
Patrick Ahern (Moorshill Eve); Reserve: Patrick Ahern (Moorshill Starbuck Namie)
Bobby O’Connell (Roundhill Londire).
Stanley Family (Brownview Lamborghini).
Bobby O’Connell (Roundhill Iondine 1496).
Donal Moloney (Ardnacrusha Lord Of The Rings). Reserve: Noel Fennessy (Wood Road Mitch).
Bobby O’Connell (Roundhill Iondine 1496). Reserve: John and Tom Hickey (Brookland Maggie).
Belgian Blue Female:
Scott Pearson (Boherard Lady Gaga).
Belgian Blue Male:
Stanley Family (Brownview Lamborghini); Reserve: D Pearson (Boherard Lethal Weapon).
Michael J Quinn (Clenagh Nespresso); Reserve: John Ward.
Peter O’Connell; Reserve: C and D Maher (Ballykin Jacob).
K and L Vickery (Carbery Kariss); Reserve: T O’Leary (Seaview Bliss).
Michael O’Connor (Clonmeen Maisey); Reserve: Matt Goulding (Goulding P Tibbie).
Michael O’Connor (Clonmeen Maisey)
Trevor Dudley (Kilbunny Lass Lily); Reserve: K and W Ryan (Goulding Poll 1 Fanny).
Hereford Junior Female:
Oisin Whelan (Corlismore Prim); Reserve: T Dudley (Kilsunny Lass Oprah).
Shane O’Driscoll (Butlerstown Breezer); Reserve: Shane O’Driscoll (Butlerstown Duke).
Liam Fitzgerald (Altamira Maria); Reserve Liam Fitzgerald (Altamira Mary).
Eamon O’Donovan (Zara); Reserve: W Gubbins.
William Gubbins; Reserve: Eamon O’Donovan (Alfie).
Arthur O’Keeffe; Reserve: Arthur O’Keeffe.
Arthur O’Keeffe; Reserve: Robert Walker.
Ena Nagle; Reserve: C and C O’Brien.
James Walsh; Reserve: Ed and Paul O’Gorman.
Sean O’Conaire (Cashel Bobby); Reserve: Aoife O’Connor (Carr Side Kate).
Natasha Blanchfield (Shannonbay Star); Reserve: Leana Bartelink (Poulcoin Spirit).
Show Hunter Pony:
Aoife O’Connor (Carr Side Kate); Reserve: Melissa O’Connor Murphy (Lucifer).
Rosie May O’Grady (Rosog Rusty); Reserve: Sarah Jane Hackett (Knocklucas Chloe).
Alison Geary; Reserve: Sally Sweeney (Jack Magic).
Janet Williamson (Cadlanwalley Crusader): Reserve: Liam Ruttle (Tanto).
Margaret Greene (Mountain Ash of Glendhu); Reserve: Janet Williamson (Springdale Superstar).
Champion In Hand Connemara:
Sean O’Conaire (Cashel Bobby); Reserve: Martin O’Sullivan (Jolly Castle).
Breeding & Young Stock Champion:
Aidan Williamson (Golden Grove Temptress); Reserve: David Lynch (Ballyseedy Black Magic).
Aidan Williamson (Golden Grove Temptress); Reserve: John Dineen (Janpete Diamond Guzzer).
John Tyner (That’s Class Joe); Reserve: Dan O’Connor (Newmarket Rolo).
John Roche (Assagart Mistress); Reserve: John Mulconroy.
PJ Lehane; Reserve: A & B Shannon.
Paulette Cooper (Dartans Blockbuster); Reserve: Lesley Webb (Double Take).
Paulette Cooper (First Rate); Reserve: David Kirkpatrick (Cairnview Redwood Guy).
S and L O’Brien (Mr Shakespeare).
Second level schools picnic competition:
Shauna Buckley, Castlegregory.
Best dog in show:
Jennifer Horgan’s Ozzie.