Farmers have been making the most of a few days of sunshine, following six weeks of rain and bad weather conditions.

William Ruiter was harvesting potatoes by hand on his farm in Ashbourne, County Meath, as the ground was too wet to use machinery, 

This is the first bit of work we’ve done now since the 20th of June, so you can imagine, we were pulling our hair out now for a long time, and I’m worried about the huge gaps there’s going to be now in production, and the scarcity of stuff that we’re going to have...

Harvesting of wheat and barley crops will be due to start next week, amid fears that much of the wheat will be unsuitable for making flour. But Shay Grace is relieved that his field of oats has turned out well after the recent sunshine,

Today it has dried up a lot, and it’s wonderful what one good week can do.  We were very down about the weather last week, and we’re very optimistic about it this week.

The recent bad weather meant that some livestock had to be housed indoors for the whole month of July, which is unusual for Ireland.  Pat Fanning from Clane in County Kildare explains why, 

They were ploughin’ up the ground.  Every track they made was filled with water, the rainfall was so heavy, and then they walk round in that and they churn the whole thing up.

The bad news for consumers is that the bad weather will most likely mean an increase in prices for vegetables and flour goods.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 1 August 2007.  The reporter is Joe O’Brien.