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Tag Archives: ICMSA

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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Marts will operate as normal under Level 3 restrictions

CLARE Marts have confirmed that its facilities will continue operations under Level 3 pandemic restrictions. The Department of Agriculture had indicated that marts are designated as an essential service, but suggested some may have some of their operating procedures adjusted to take account of the new national restrictions. Martin McNamara, general manager of Clare Marts noted that since re-opening of marts in early June, huge efforts had been made to adhere to national public health guidelines and to facilitate on-line sales to reduce the number of people attending in person. He also expressed the hope that the move to Level 3 would make it easier to enforce the regulations. “The move to Level 3 shouldn’t make any great difference,” he said. “The rules are already being strictly enforced with social distancing, masks, sanitisers and so on. The bottom line is, though, that people won’t be allowed in if they have no business at the mart, because numbers are restricted until …

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Farmers Pray for Rain as Drought Hits The Burren

FARMERS in the Burren are said to be in “dire straits” after almost three months with virtually no rainfall. Despite the thundery downpours experienced in recent days across Clare, much of the north of the county has escaped, with drought-like conditions posing challenges for farmers. “It will be 13 weeks from the Spring Equinox to the Summer Solstice this weekend,” noted Burren IFA Chairman Michael Davoren. “In my lifetime, I haven’t seen a three month spell without rain. There’s been a slow drought since early Spring, which has badly hit the winterages. The wells and the springs of the Burren are in danger of running dry at this stage.” Mr Davoren estimated that grass growth is down between 30 and 40%, with some farmers having to use sileage to feed their cattle. “It threatened to rain at the weekend, but there wasn’t a drop. The winterages need a good dousing. The rain will come eventually,” he said, “but you can’t …

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Clare dairy farmers prepare for the worst

DAIRY farmers across Clare are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst as peak milk production coincides with the predicted spike in the Covid-19 crisis. In recent days, milk suppliers have been warned by Dairy Industry Ireland (DII) that if the Coronavirus causes the closure of processing plants the impact for the sector could be devastating. Responding to the stark warning, Martin McMahon, Clare Chairperson of ICMSA, said the situation was as major cause for concern. “If any of the milk plants are hit by the virus, and the risk is very real, that would present huge problems for farmers at this time of the year,” he said. “All possible precautions must be taken to protect lorry men and the staff at the dairy plants, for the sake of their own health and for the whole sector. If farmers were forced to reduce their milk volumes, the pressure would be huge. All famers, whether they’re in dairy or …

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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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Farmers protest at regional vet lab

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), along with ICMSA, this morning (Wednesday) mounted a protest at the Regional Veterinary Laboratory in Knockalisheen, Meelick over the possible closure of the facility. The protest was scheduled to coincide with a trip to lab by a review group from the Department of Agriculture and was led by ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch and rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock. Speaking at the protest, the ICSA general secretary said, “This proposal makes no sense at all. The lab is a vital resource with helping farmers determine the cause of mortality and with helping them get on top of infectious diseases another animal health issues as soon as possible. Closing it down will have a huge detrimental effect on animal health and welfare. It will also hinder farmers efforts to be more efficient in reducing mortality. We had an exchange of views with the Department officials here and we will be having further discussions …

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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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Indicators good for June milk price

Despite  the strong supply situation globally, dairy markets over the past month have shown perceptible improvements and Irish dairy farmers expect that these developments will be reflected in the Irish Dairy Board price index for June. That’s according to Pat McCormack, deputy president and chairperson of ICMSA’s dairy committee. “At this stage, there is strong evidence to suggest that the marketplace has factored in strong global supplies and a number of major market indicators have shown positive moves over the last month – actually, as recently as this week the significant product categories all went up,” said Mr McCormack. “Prices on spot milk markets have improved with the Dutch dairy quotas running close to 4% higher for butter than this time last month, increasing by 3% and WMP remaining stable. In Italy, for instance, according to the newly established Milk Monitoring Observatory (MMO), the spot milk price increased by 10.5% in the last four weeks and in the Netherlands, the spot …

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