The greatest mistake Irish farmers ever made was to fall in love with the bag of fertiliser. Like the turbulent love affair between Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, it was a match doomed to fail from the start.
We should never have allowed our heads to be turned by the artificial stuff. We should never have strayed from farmyard manure - manure had been our loyal companion for many years.
Always a difficult relationship, many courted the bag of fertiliser for years, struggling to keep the bills paid and the spark alive. But now, alas, with reality having finally dawned, with the price of the bag having gone through the roof, many farmers have been left heartbroken and bereft.
You either have fertiliser in your life, or you don't have fertiliser.
I fell out with fertiliser many years ago when I opened my eyes and saw the high price I was paying for the privilege. And also, when I discovered that grass will grow regardless of what you throw on it.
Up to that point, urea had been my favourite. More voluptuous than the regular bag, for many years, urea, I felt, made my life complete. There was none to compare with it. I loved urea. There's no point in saying otherwise.
But then when a pallet of my treasure strayed above a rate I could ill afford, I finally saw our relationship for what it was. It was one-way traffic. I had been a fool to fertiliser.
But make no mistake, fertiliser is a hard habit to break. I remember the day I held a bag of urea in my arms for the last time. I hugged the bag as tightly as I knew how for this would be our last time together. I was sobbing uncontrollably. And who wouldn't?
"Urea," says I. "We've had some great days. But now we have come to the end of the line. It's not you, it's me. You're out of my league," I cried.
I couldn't afford to keep the love alive. The bag of urea had nothing to say by way of a response, as you might expect. So, with that, I let the bag go into my rusty spinner. I released the PTO and she was gone. Gone, but not forgotten.
I've never forgotten urea, CAN, 10-10-20 or even 18-6-12. But I never looked back either. That's not in my nature. Besides, how could I? I knew we had no future together. It was either the bag went, or I did.
Urea, I didn't know you needed more than l could give. Since I waved goodbye to fertiliser my life has never been the same. Sure, I might seem like a contented fellow going about his business, but deep down I'm broken.
Life has been tough, barren even, and there is no point in saying otherwise. But I have survived. Life is more simple now. I get up in the morning and have my breakfast.
I have only a handful of bullocks roaming about the place these days because the grass doesn't grow with the vibrancy it did back in the days of Urea. I fight back the tears sometimes when I think of fertiliser and of what I have lost.
But most days, I simply get on with life. You have to. Farming without fertiliser can sometimes make a man feel like only half a man. My dear reader, let me assure you that while separating with fertiliser can be a nasty experience, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Farming life will go on, but not as before.