Read Damien's blog
See Damien's photos
Check out the emails our listeners sent
All last week, Damien O'Reilly travelled around Ireland to take the temperature of the farming industry.
Damien says, 'Farming is not as big a business as it once was but throughout many parts of the country, it is still the most important indigenous industry. Over the years, I have covered many stories of crises and problems in farming, like the foot and mouth crisis in 2001 and the beef dispute in 2000. But they pale into insignificance when compared with the problems farmers are currently experiencing. Dairy farmers are working at a loss and drystock farmers are also getting paid very poor prices for their produce. On top of this, the poor weather and cut in different grants schemes along with the general collapse of the construction sector which provided many farmers with part time jobs, have all contributed to the current cirses in the sector. And that is before we begin to talk about the other effects of the recession which affect us all.'
Damien spoke to many in the farming community, and he also asked them to send in their own views. Read emails sent to him here.
See photos from Damien's travels.