Irish Farmers' Association Deputy President Eddie Downey has called on farmers and members of the public to be extra vigilant during the ongoing good weather as there are more heavy agricultural vehicles travelling on rural roads.

Farmers are racing to harvest as much hay and silage as possible while the weather remains good.

Intensive fodder harvesting has been helped by the unusually good weather and a decision by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to lift restrictions on cutting certain meadows that traditionally could not be cut until later in the summer.

However, restrictions remain on callow meadows on the banks of the River Shannon.

Mr Downey called on farmers to ensure that lights and other visibility beacons on their tractors, trailers and harvesters were working well.

He said farmers were working many hours each day to take advantage of the weather and urged them to make sure that they did not expose themselves or others to health and safety risks.

Mr Downey said: "These are long, long days and we're working as hard as we can to get as much feed as possible in."

He said it was hard to believe that ten weeks ago he was part of an IFA delegation that travelled to Europe to try to purchase fodder, amid a crisis in farm feed at the time caused by the wet winter.

However, he said the quantity of crops being saved at the moment was "not huge".

"It will take a lot of feed to make sure we have enough for next winter," he said.