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Tag Archives: farmers

Helpline launched to assist farmers

MINISTER for Agriculture Michael Creed has confirmed the opening of a new telephone helpline to assist farmers with their queries in relation to current COVID-19 restrictions in place. The information line phone number is 076 1064468  and  will be open from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 5pm  Monday to Friday. In addition, the department has also published a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the Coronavirus /COVID 19 section of the Department’s website at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/customerservice/coronaviruscovid-19/ The Minster commented: “my department is fully engaged with the whole of Government response to COVID-19.  I have now put in place a dedicated helpline for farmers to seek advice on the practical queries that they may have as they continue to fulfill their essential role in maintaining the food supply chain.  This helpline aims to assist farmers in addressing the challenges they may face on a day to day basis.”

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Farmers fight for group-buy savings

CLARE beef suckler farmers are rowing in behind a national drive that would see them achieve at least a 10% saving on major annual outgoings, as well as a similar increase on factory prices. “There is stronger bargaining power in big numbers. In County Meath they have successfully trialled a system where they are buying their farm inputs at reduced rates because the are forming agri buying groups. That’s the model were are striving for in Clare and it would be invaluable for the small producer,” said Clare Beef Plan spokesman, Joseph Woulfe. Mr Woulfe said they have more than 800 farmers signed up to Beef Plan in Clare and with more than 4,300 with suckler herds in the county, there is scope for a lot more members. “We need more farmers on board to strengthen our hand For example, in normal circumstances, a farmer might pay €1,000 for diesel for machinery and household kerosene in the same delivery. However, …

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Shannon Airport to the rescue of fodder hit farmers

Fodder shortage hit farmers in the region got a well-deserved reprieve this week as they received bales from the 1,200 plus crop harvested at Shannon Airport over the weekend. Three days of grass cutting ended on Sunday evening at the airport, with the 1,265 bales despatched throughout the weekend to worst hit farmers across the region. The silage harvesting began on Friday morning and continued right through to Sunday as the airport acceded to the request from the IFA to allow grass across its 400 acre site to be cut. Speaking at the end of a busy weekend, Shannon Airport Director of Operations Niall Maloney said: “It was busy few days but we’re used to a lot of activity at the airport this time of year. What we are not used to is the type of stress that farmers have endured due to the fodder shortage. “They have been under severe pressure due to the fodder shortage and when we …

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Snow compounds fodder crisis for farmers

AS the impact of Storm Emma continues this week, one farm leader has condemned the national subsidised fodder transport scheme as a “shambles”. Former regional Teagasc advisor, Brendan Henaghan, has also warned that there may not be a plentiful supply of grass on some Clare farms until early May. IFA president Joe Healy has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to look at the implications of Storm Emma, which looks set to create a major fodder crisis. “Grass growth is at zero in March. Grass is saturated and will rot with any hard frost. We will not see good growth for a few weeks. “The bad weather has put back growth by about a month. It will be at least two weeks before land is dry again and then the cold weather will add to the fodder crisis,” Mr Healy said. He described the introduction of the transport scheme as a “gesture” to tackle the fodder shortage, but …

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Hundreds gather to celebrate Burren farming traditions

Hundreds of people from the Burren and further afield gathered over the recent October Bank Holiday Weekend to join in the Burren Winterage Weekend, a celebration of the Burren’s unique farming heritage. For thousands of years, Burren farmers have marked the end of summer by herding their cattle up onto winter pastures in the limestone uplands, in the tradition known as winterage and the Burren is one of the only places in the world where it still occurs. Winterage has been integral to shaping today’s familiar Burren landscape. With coordination support by local landscape charity Burrenbeo Trust, community members put on an amazing range of events including a community gathering, herdsman walk, heritage walks in Ballyvaughan and Fanore, farmers market and farming innovation fair. The weekend culminated in the community cattle drive where the community followed a herd of cattle into the Burren hills where they will spend the winter. The weekend was a great celebration of this rich tradition …

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Crime an ‘unacceptable burden’ on farmers

The financial costs of agricultural crime is an unacceptable burden and one that cannot be written off as part and parcel of life in rural Ireland. That is the blunt observation of ICSA president Patrick Keny, who was speaking following the publication of the second tranche of ICSA’s Agricultural Crime Survey undertaken with Waterford Institute of Technology. The focus of this tranche is the Financial Costs of Agricultural Crime in Ireland. “We now have proof that agricultural crime is hitting farmers’ pockets at a time when most are struggling to make ends meet at all. Theft, vandalism and fly-tipping all have serious cost implications for farmers, as do increased insurance premiums when farmers have to make a claim. The report is hugely important as determining the costs of agricultural crime provides the justification for spending scarce resources on tackling the issue,” he said. The results of the survey indicate for the first time the true costs of agricultural crime to …

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Put Irish food on the Christmas table

AGRI Aware, the independent Irish agri-food educational body, is asking shoppers to think local and support Irish farmers and food producers when purchasing food for the festive season. By filling your shopping basket with quality and seasonal Irish produce, consumers are making the smart choice. “Irish food is of the highest quality, it is sustainably produced and traceable and it is affordable for consumers,” explained Agri Aware’s chairman and organic farmer, Richard Moeran. Agri Aware is asking consumers to be mindful of the damage which below cost selling can have on farmers and food producers. Below cost selling and heavy discounting of fresh produces diminishes the value of food to consumers and removes the link between the costs of production for the farmer and the price charged for the product. “Simply put, continuous below cost selling results in consumers expecting heavily discounted food year-round. Unfortunately, these discounts mean that over time, lower prices become the norm in shops across the country, …

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Inland Fisheries warns of silage threat

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has issued an appeal to farmers to be vigilant when harvesting silage and spreading slurry to avoid water pollution. Silage operations are ongoing all summer and silage effluent has the potential to cause devastating pollution in streams and rivers. Silage effluent is one of the most polluting substances to threaten the environment and can cause massive fish kills if it enters a watercourse. Slurry spread on grassland over the summer months can also wipe out fish and invertebrate life if allowed to enter a stream. Water levels in streams and rivers are low in the summer months and have less dilution capacity, so are particularly vulnerable to pollution at this time. Dr Greg Forde, head of operations at IFI, said, “The fisheries service is appealing to all farmers and contractors to be careful that no silage effluent is allowed to run off into drains or watercourses. Round bales are the most environmentally friendly way to store …

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