Co Tyrone woman Bronagh O’Kane features in ‘Rare Breed – A Farming Year’ as she works around the weather

Cookstown woman Bronagh O'Kane features in Thursday's ‘Rare Breed – A Farming Year’ on UTV where it’s now July.
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And in this episode, the farmers are at the mercy of extremes of weather.

Filmed during 2023, each episode captures the highs and lows of each month of the year, as the families deal with economic and environmental challenges.

The first visit is to outside Garvagh and the Diamonds are looking forward to the summer sales. Kile breeds pedigree sheep and cattle with his dad Michael and mum Briege.

Bronagh O’Kane is pictured working around the weather at her mixed farm. Credit: SubmittedBronagh O’Kane is pictured working around the weather at her mixed farm. Credit: Submitted
Bronagh O’Kane is pictured working around the weather at her mixed farm. Credit: Submitted

The deadline for the auctions in England is looming and they have tough decisions to take.

Near Maghera, the Hutchinsons are first time farmers. They started with hens but in February they bought their first pedigree sow, Val.

This July is an exciting time, they’re planning Val’s first litter of piglets and they’ve borrowed a pedigree boar.

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From near Maghera are Leanne and Trevor Hutchinson who are first time farmers. Credit: SubmittedFrom near Maghera are Leanne and Trevor Hutchinson who are first time farmers. Credit: Submitted
From near Maghera are Leanne and Trevor Hutchinson who are first time farmers. Credit: Submitted

Near Limavady, Jonny Kelly farms around 500 acres of arable crops and today he’s getting the first of his winter barley harvested. He’s ahead of schedule, but with heavy rain and storms forecast, Jonny needs to take every chance he can get out into the fields.

Down the road on the Ards Peninsula, the McClements family is also battling the rainy weather.

They farm near Ballyhalbert and the soil here is clay and really holds the water. Jude, Sarah and Dad James are inspecting the fields and trying to figure out if they can get asilage cut done.

Seventy five miles away near Cookstown, Bronagh O’Kane is working around the weather at her mixed farm. She uses vermicast – which is basically manure that has been digested and pooped out by worms!

And the episode ends up near Killinchy, where 25 year old Emily McGowan has been taking up the reins at her family farm. Diversifying is an important part of growing her business. Last year Emily and her dad Adrian scaled back their vegetable production. Now, they’re rearing animals for meat to sell in their farm shop.

UTV’s Rita Fitzgerald narrates this episode. Sponsored by NIE Networks, ‘Rare Breed’ – A Farming Year continues on Thursday March 14 at 8.30pm on UTV.