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Tag Archives: IFA

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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Summer farming prompts road safety appeal

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) have urged road users to take extra care as the number of tractors, trailers and other farm machinery using the roads increases. The appeal comes as farmers avail of the improved weather conditions to bring in silage. In an effort to raise awareness of the likely increase in agricultural traffic using the roads and the need for all road users to take extra care, the RSA and IFA will be broadcasting their 30-second radio advert on national and local media this week. The advert reminds all drivers and those driving agricultural vehicles to use common sense and share the road responsibly. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, SRA, said “This is a busy time of year for farmers. The number of tractors and trailers out using the roads will increase dramatically over the next few weeks. As a result the risk of a collision involving a road user and farm machinery will …

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IFA warning over quad thefts

THERE has been an increase in quad bike thefts in the last few days, in particular in the greater Limerick area, IFA Rural Crime Prevention executive, Colin Connolly has revealed. He is urging farmers to be on alert and to ensure they take steps to secure their quads, lawnmowers and other valuables. Mr Connolly offered the following advice to keep quads secure: Park the quad out of sight, in an area that is not easily accessible. Where possible secure the quad inside a shed. A good idea is to chain the quad to a floor anchor inside the shed. A floor anchor can be installed very easily in any shed or yard. Make sure this shed is locked when not in use and alarm it, if possible. If the quad is outside, think about where you park it. Park it behind larger more difficult to move items, think bigger blocking method or consider a floor or ground anchor. Anything that …

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