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Tag Archives: IFA

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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Deer hunting licence delays prompts concern over farm and forest damage

DEER are said to be causing significant damage to farms and forests in East Clare, with the pandemic being blamed for a slow-down in the processing of permits for hunters, five weeks into open season. Concerns have also been raised about the ongoing issue of illegal deer hunting, which a major conservation and management organisation described as a recurring problem in the east of the county. “There are landowners in East Clare who might go out to find 30 to 40 deer on their grazing,” said William Shortall of the IFA  said. “As the population of deer expands, they’re competing for food and that’s what drives them into grassland areas and tillage. What we need in the long term is an agency with responsibility for the overall management of deer, who will be able to put effective plans in place to control their numbers. We’re entering the rut now, where stags move off their territory in search of females, so …

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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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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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IFA hit out at Government Planning Framework

THE draft National Planning Framework developed by Government has been described by the IFA as “Dublin-centric and lacking ambition for rural Ireland.” “The Government’s aspiration to develop a planning framework out to 2040 in a balanced and coherent way fails rural Ireland, particularly in the addressing following four areas: the decline of rural towns and villages; the need to rebalance development towards the regions; the need for rural housing; and, supporting community based renewable energy development,”said Thomas Cooney, IFA Environment chairman. In a submission to Government, IFA has detailed a number of areas that need to be addressed. To reverse the decline of rural towns and villages, IFA says new business start-ups should receive incentives, such as exemptions from rates, for an initial time period and relief from capital gains tax, to encourage innovation and enterprise. Double tax relief should be provided on rental expenditure for businesses establishing in rural towns and villages. A condition for a valid planning application for …

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Heavy rains threat to harvest

IFA NATIONAL Grain Committee chairman Liam Dunne said the harvest has turned into a salvage operation for many growers with later sown and later maturing crops, particularly on the heavier soils in peripheral areas due to heavy and incessant rain. In some regions, 25%-30% remains in the field. The West, North West and the northern part of the country have been worst hit. Liam Dunne said, “Many growers are at their wits end as the rapid deterioration in weather has stopped the harvest and the forecast remains bad for the week. Later sown and later maturing crops particularly on the heavier soils are beginning to break down after recent torrential rains and heavy winds. In some cases, ground conditions are becoming a problem. Even where harvest is complete, many farmers are struggling to bale up straw and clear fields”. “Crop losses will mount with each passing day and this will add to an already deepening income crisis for many growers. …

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IFA wants action on commonage plans

IFA Hill Committee chairman Pat Dunne has urged the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to open up the process for planners to submit Commonage Management Plans. IFA will not accept any delays in payments to the 7,000 commonage farmers, who have applied for GLAS and whose Commonage Management Plan must be submitted by the end of October. Currently, planners are assessing commonages but do not have the facility to make the online application for the plan. Mr Dunne said that the minimum stocking level for the individual farmer must be in place by the end of the year but IFA is insisting that once a Commonage Management Plan is lodged, this triggers full payment to the commonage farmers involved. With the third phase of GLAS due to open shortly, it is expected that another 3,000 commonage farmers will join the scheme with a commencement date of January 1, 2017. In relation to commonages, where difficulties may arise, IFA is insisting …

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Criminals thrive on summer weather

Good weather is perfect for opportunistic criminals, the IFA has warned in appealing to farmers and householders in general not to let their guard down. IFA Rural Crime Prevention Executive, Colin Connolly, said, “As we are enjoying the current good weather it is important to be extra vigilant about your home security. Don’t assume because you are at home, your property is safe. In many burglaries I attended as a garda, the homeowner was present, and perhaps in the rear of the house or garden, at the time of the crime. “We are all opening up our homes, sheds and garages to let in the sun after a long hard winter but it’s important to be mindful of criminals who will be canvassing the area for an opportunity to strike. Lock windows on the ground floor level. Ensure that, if you are opening windows on the first floor, they cannot be entered from a porch, drain pipe or a ladder …

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