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Tag Archives: Department of Agriculture

Carbon tax hike blots a ‘farmer friendly’ Budget

FARMING representative organisations in Clare have given a cautious welcome to Budget 2021, while voicing reservations over the fairness of the an increase of almost 2c per litre in the price of agri-diesel. An increase of €7.50 per tonne of carbon came into effect last Tuesday night, adding 1.937c the cost of a litre of green diesel. The measure takes the total carbon tax on agri-diesel to almost 9c per litre. Said Cratloe’s Eddie Punch, General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), “The carbon tax is an environmental measure when there is a viable alternative to agri-diesel. When there’s no realistic alternative, it becomes just another tax, and it’s unfair.” Tom Lane, Clare County Chair of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), agreed the measure is unjust in the view of his members. “There is no viable alternative to agri-diesel on the market currently,” he said. “We understand the pressure to reduce emissions and when you look …

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Forestry owners want to cut tree felling licence delays

CLARE forestry owners with mature trees are waiting more than 12 months in some cases to secure a tree felling licence due to red tape, a local deputy has claimed. Deputy Michael McNamara recently asked the new Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue the measures he will take to address the backlog in applications for planting permits and felling licences in the forestry section in a Dáil question. Deputy McNamara said it is legitimate that people want to plant trees but it is also legitimate that nobody wants a monoculture sitka spruce plantation surrounding their house. The Independent Deputy said there is no point in pretending that planting sitka spruce will help the environment as it is a short term cash product. In addition to requesting more ecologists in the Department of Agriculture, Deputy McNamara stressed the Department of Agriculture had to adequately deal with a variety of issues concerning tree felling and planting. “We need timber but it is all a …

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Clare Beef Plan expresses concern over proposed PGI classification

CLARE Beef Plan have expressed grave misgivings about the shortcomings of a proposed new classification system for suckler beef. Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture have proposed a new Irish grassfed beef Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) for submission to the EU for approval. Clare Beef Plan is concerned Bord Bia intends to market grassfed beef regardless of whether the PGI submission is accepted by the EU or not. For PGI status, it appears that all producers must be Bord Bia QA-approved, which is another cost for suckler farmers from which no benefit flows. The PGI is restricted to heifers and steers less than 36 months and beef cows up to 120 months. Since the over-riding consideration for the PGI is meat quality and this quality is to be determined by inspection, Beef Plan chairman, Joe Woulfe argues these age limits make no sense. He said the implication is that the meat of a 10 year-old cow is of the …

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Clare farmers oppose proposed new PGI status

PGIFEARS have been expressed that Clare farmers who manage farms in special areas of conservation like the Burren will lose out in the long run if a new classification system for suckler beef is introduced. The Independent Farmers’ Organisation of Ireland (IFOOI) has expressed grave concerns about the proposed Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which the Department of Agriculture is seeking for Irish suckler beef. In fact, it has submitted a comprehensive objection to the DOA outlining its serious concerns about the implications for Clare beef farmers. Kilmurry McMahon farmers, Seamus Shannon and Patrick Crowe are two of the IFOOI executive members who have signed this objection. PGI for agricultural products and foods is linked to a geographical area where at least one production step has taken place. Independent Farmers call on all farmers and farm organisations to oppose this application and prevent the processors aided by state agencies from further exploitation of primary producers. “The Independent Farmers believe that …

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Farmers warned to be wary of hoax calls

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has become aware of a number of phone calls to farmers from a person purporting to represent the Department, seeking bank details. They state that they need these details to allegedly offer refunds or seek due payments. This Department never seeks bank details or any other personal information by phone or by text message. If you receive a telephone call purporting to be from this Department and seeking this type of information, please do not share your information. None of our staff will mind you taking their name and ringing back on one of the official numbers listed on our website – do not use the number such a caller gives you. You can also report such phone calls to our Quality Service Unit us at 076 1064468. Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to these types of fraudulent phone calls should contact their bank or credit card company immediately and alert …

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mart managers hope Covid-19 restrictions will be eased

MART managers in Clare are hoping national Covid-19 guidelines will be eased to to give farmers the opportunity of buying and selling cattle in an open market. It is understood that a decision may be taken later this week to ease restrictions on marts next week while still applying strict DOA and HSE Covid-19 guidelines. Sixmilebridge Mart manager, Sean Ryan confirmed the mart was matching farmers who were selling and producers who wanted to buy cattle but acknowledged it was very hard work and very hard to manage. Mr Ryan said marts were willing to work with the Department of Agriculture to facilitate a return to live auctions under strict HSE guidelines. On March 25, about 350 cattle were sold in Sixmilebridge Mart under strict guidelines in the last sale before the national lockdown. The mart has spent almost €2,000 on the provision of hand sanitisers and infection control. “Farmers want to sell and buy cattle and the most appropriate …

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Sea eagle confirmed to have avian flu

A WHITE-tailed Sea Eagle, which was born in the spring of 2017, has been confirmed to be Ireland’s first and only case of the highly pathogenic avian influenza this year. The eagle, called Shannon, was found dead on the shores of Lough Derg in County Tipperary on January 31 and, following testing, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has confirmed that the avian influenza subtype H5N6 was detected in the wild bird. This is the highly pathogenic strain that has previously been confirmed in Great Britain and mainland Europe. It is the only case detected in Ireland so far. In a statement to The Clare Champion, the Department of Agriculture outlined that the White-tailed Sea Eagle is a re-introduced species, monitored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Golden Eagle Trust. “Any dead White-tailed Sea Eagle that are recovered are submitted to the Department of Agriculture’s regional laboratories for post-mortem. This was the only White-tailed Sea Eagle …

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Mountshannon cattle rustler gets suspended prison sentence

A Mountshannon farmer has received a suspended three year jail term and ordered to pay a €3,000 fine after it was uncovered using DNA tracing that he was responsible for three separate thefts of a total of 15 cattle from his neighbour. Ahead of delivering his sentence at Ennis Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Gerald Keys told Padraig O’Brien, (42), of Magherigh “what you have done to your neighbour is unforgivable”. O’Brien had pleaded guilty to 15 counts of theft of the cattle worth €17,000. The offences involved the theft of five in-calf heifers from Bohatch, Mountshannon between January 17 and 18, 2015; the theft of six heifers from Kilrateera, Mountshannon between May 23 and 24, 2013, and the theft of four cows from Bohatch between December 8 and 9, 2013, a total of 15 charges. The court heard that gardaí were led to O’Brien after they found “sporadic hoof marks on the ditches” in frost, leading to his farmyard in …

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