‘I had just pushed in the silage when the roof caved in’

One farmer in the south-east of the country had a lucky escape this morning when the roof of his slatted shed caved in following heavy snowfall.

Farmers around the country are being encouraged by farm organisations to prioritise their safety when tending to their livestock during the difficult weather conditions.

Speaking to AgriLand, Robin Bailey – a beef and sheep farmer near Gorey in Co. Wexford – explained that the weight of the snow caused the shed’s roof to collapse.

I had just finished pushing in silage with the tractor. After I reversed out, the roof just collapsed; more of it has fallen since.

“No one was injured and none of the cattle were trapped. I was able to let them out a gate into another passage for the time being,” he said.

Due to the blizzard-like conditions experienced yesterday, between 3ft and 4ft of snow had accumulated on the shed’s roof in places.

Bailey urged other farmers to be wary of this type of accident when they are out trying to feed and water their animals. He will have to wait until conditions improve before the damage can be assessed and repairs can begin.

There have also been significant snow drifts on his farm, with between 5ft and 10ft of snow accumulating in certain areas.

Continuing, he said: “I managed to get the ewes in on Wednesday. A few have started to drop already, I was hoping I would get away until the middle of March.

“A few pipes were frozen yesterday, but everything is blocked today.”

Average snow weighs approximately 6.8kg/ft³. As an example, if we had a a 30ftX30ft roof laden with with 6in of snow, the total weight of snow on the roof would equate to over 3t.