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Tag Archives: farmers

Farmers in a flap over ‘worthless’ land

Hundreds of farmers in North East Clare and South Galway are in a flap over the designation of land for the protection of the hen harrier, which has rendered an estimated 9,844 acres “worthless”. Feelings are running high among landowners in the Sliabh Aughty area, which has the dubious distinction of having the largest designation to safeguard this protected species under an EU directive. As a new farming group, Irish Farmers With Designated Land (IFDL) briefed deputies and members of the Oireachtas Agricultural Committee on the difficulties that landowners are experiencing due to this designation at a meeting in Dublin this week, local farmers said they are mounting an intensive campaign for change. Frustration and anger over the Government’s decision to suspend the previous compensation scheme in 2010 due to budgetary constraints, will be voiced at a public meeting in Ballinakill, County Galway on Tuesday next at 8.30pm. Farmers’ efforts to receive adequate compensation for the devaluation of their land …

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CAP payments publication worries

ELDERLY farmers living in isolated areas could be targeted by criminals following the publication of names of recipients of direct Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments. Under CAP, for the 12 months up to October 2014, €75.58 million was shared by 6,310 Clare farmers. Farm leaders believe some elderly farmers in very rural areas “are now living in fear that criminals will use the details of their CAP payments as a reason to attack them and extort money from them in their own homes”. The publication of payments on the Department of Agriculture website has been described as an “invasion of privacy” and farm leaders are angry that they are the only group that has been singled out for what they claim is unfair treatment. Farm leaders have also pointed out that the published figures for individual farmers are gross amounts that do not represent the real profit on a farm after all the day-to-day expenses and costs are deducted. The …

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Beef action not ruled out

Angry farmers may stage a rolling demonstration outside a local beef processor unless there is a breakthrough in the national dispute over beef prices, local IFA leaders have warned. Clare IFA chairman, Andrew Dundas has not ruled out a resumption of the action, which involved the staging of protests outside 30 meat plants recently. Mr Dundas warned that Clare farmers would be back on the picket line on Sunday unless there is a major improvement in beef prices from meat processors and a permanent solution to market specification issues. This could include a demonstration outside venues in Ennis and Nenagh. The Clare IFA leader confirmed a final decision on whether or not to take further action against beef factories would be taken following a meeting this weekend. “There is still a lot of anger amongst Clare farmers, with the huge gap that has opened up between Ireland and the UK. Beef prices have risen by about 30 cent per kilo …

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Munster land prices on the up

A  new report on the land market shows that land prices increased in 2013 and activity levels are up 5% in the first quarter of 2014. The land report, which was compiled by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) and Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Authority, shows that prices for agricultural land up to 50 acres increased nationally in 2013. According to the report, the average national price for land up to 50 acres with entitlements and a residential holding per acre is approximately €10,722. In Dublin, it is €13,000; in Leinster, it is €11,132; in Munster, €11,378 and in Connacht/Ulster €7,375. The largest increase in land prices was seen in the Munster area, where the average selling price in 2013 increased by 14.3% for land up to 50 acres with a residential holding. In Leinster, prices increased by 13.9% and in Connacht/Ulster they increased by 2%, compared to the previous year. In contrast to the smaller land …

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Ennistymon Mart sold to Aldi

CLARE Marts has already sold Ennistymon Mart to discount supermarket, Aldi for a price tag believed to be in the region of €1.5m, despite strong opposition from the local IFA committee and local traders. Members of Ennistymon IFA staged a protest before a Clare Marts Board meeting in Ennis on Tuesday night, but the Clare Champion has learned Clare Marts is proceeding with the controversial deal. Clare Marts would not confirm the identity of the buyer or any of the terms and conditions, which it considers as “commercially sensitive information”. However, it is understood that the mart has been sold to Aldi subject to planning permission, which could take a number of years to secure. Aldi has also declined to comment on the deal. It is also expected that any planning application lodged by Aldi to Clare County Council will be vigorously opposed by some local traders and residents in the North Clare town. Fifteen sales have been held in …

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€36m in farm payments

JUST over €36m has been paid to Clare farmers under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) and Disadvantaged Area Scheme (DAS) in recent weeks. The figures, which have been obtained by Clare Senator Tony Mulcahy, show that 5,817 of 6,000 SPS applicants in Clare have received payments totalling €23.765m since October 16, with the remaining 183 applicants due to receive their payments in the coming weeks. The percentage of SPS applicants paid to date is higher in Clare (96.95%) than in any other county. According to Senator Mulcahy, the percentage of payments made to Clare applicants under DAS is also the highest in the country at 85.65%, with 5,349 out of 6,245 farmers having already received combined payments of €12.254m. Senator Mulcahy stated, “The issuing of payments under the Single Payment Scheme has occurred earlier this year as the result of a European Commission’s decision in September to accommodate beleaguered farmers, who are experiencing difficulties due to inclement weather conditions. “The …

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Adequate fodder stocks

A FODDER census survey has shown that farmers have enough silage and hay for a 140 day feeding period this winter. The survey of 1,240 farmers showed that there is an overall average surplus of 8% across the country. The survey was carried out in the week commencing September 1 by Teagasc and other organisations participating in the Inter Agency Fodder Committee. While overall the survey indicates that there are adequate fodder stocks in the country, it found that one in five farmers had a deficit. On the farms with a deficit, this shortage is 19% on average. The survey showed that 22% of farmers intend to sell some livestock to balance their feed budget this autumn Chairman of the inter-agency fodder committee, Dr Tom Kelly of Teagasc said that through the commercial market place, farmers are redistributing the fodder to where the livestock are, and redistributing the livestock to where the fodder is. He said that with prudent management …

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Challenges facing farmers

THE Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council has called on the Government to review how State and European grant aid for farmers is distributed in light of what he described as “unprecedented challenges faced by the West of Ireland farming community”. West Limerick farmer and Councillor John Sheahan said that farmers who owned land classified as Special Protection Areas (SPA) are at a disadvantage as the funding allocated through schemes such as CAP Pillar 2 and AEOS are “insufficient” to cover both the loss of revenue from not being able to farm the land or the cost of preserving and protecting the SPA.

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