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Sheep farmers advised to plan well for fencing grants

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New TAMS grants will help sheep farmers to erect good quality fencing

THE inclusion last week of sheep fencing grants in the TAMS II scheme ‘with immediate effect’ has been warmly welcomed by representatives of the sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, said that he was ‘delighted’ at the inclusion of ‘an important investment item’ for the sheep sector in TAMS II (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme).

The Minister said that applicants could apply online immediately for inclusion in the scheme – the first tranche of applications closes on June 24 next, with a second one to open on the following day, June 25.

Farms can qualify for a ‘reference cost’ rate of €5.34c per linear metre for sheep mesh with one strand of wire – in mountain areas that figure rises to €8.01c per linear metre.

In addition to that, gateways will also be grant aided to the tune of €299 per gateway – farmers planning to avail of the grant have been warned to check out all the conditions and requirements of the scheme.

Galway IFA Sheep Chairman, Michael Murphy, said that the introduction of the scheme was to be welcomed but he advised farmers to get ‘a proper job done’ as otherwise they could lose out on their grant payments.

“Farmers, especially if they doing the fencing themselves, need to be aware of what’s required. There’s no point spending a lot on fencing and to then find the job turned down,” said Michael Murphy.

He said that simple things like the use of approved stakes just required a bit of pre-planning to ensure that there were no pitfalls later on.

“We don’t really know why it was taken out of the first scheme but now that it’s back, it should be of major benefit to farmers who need to invest in good fencing,” said Michael Murphy.

For more details see this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Move sought on scheme to promote growing of catch crops

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Stephen Canavan: Scheme needed on catch crops.

THE Dept. of Agriculture has been urged to ‘move swiftly’ and introduce an incentive scheme for the growing of ‘catch crops’ this Summer to help any potential Winter feed shortages.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that such a scheme would be easy to introduce and would incentivise farmers to grow catch crops such as rape and kale.

“These crops would provide a high-quality feed for stock during the early Winter period and would also give farmers the opportunity to reseed land for next year,” said Stephen Canavan.

He said that while the Fodder Support Scheme (FSS) would be a welcome help to farmers, more assistance from the Dept. of Agriculture would be required to ensure that there were no feed shortages over the coming Winter season.

Fast growing catch crops – such as rape and kale – can be sown in mid to late Summer and still be ready for feeding by the early Winter period.

However, last week, National IFA Chair, Paul O’Brien, hit out at the EU Commission for delivering ‘mixed messages’ in terms of their policy on farmers producing more grain and fodder crops.

He said that while last month, the EU were encouraging farmers to grow more crops for feed, they were at the same time pressing ahead with proposals for reductions in the use of pesticides – essential for crop protection.

“Commissioner Wojciechowski was explicit when he addressed our National Council last month: ‘the EU Farm to Fork policy will have to be re-visited in light of food security concerns.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Challenge is to keep farmers in profit while changing their ways

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Michael Hayden: Bleak 2022 income prospects for many farmers.

“IT’S hard to be green when in the red,” sums up the challenge faced by many farmers over the coming years, according to a leading Irish academic.

Michael Hayden, Assistant Professor of Accounting at Maynooth University, has warned that farmers face a major challenge when trying to balance economic sustainability with environmental sustainability.

“If we want to maintain a sustainable food supply, economic sustainability should not be sacrificed for environmental sustainability.

“Instead, the focus should be on educating farmers and changing work practices to meet the dual agenda of economic and environmental sustainability,” said Michael Hayden.

Writing in the latest edition of the Teagasc TResearch magazine, he points out that many of the farm enterprises in Ireland are ‘financially vulnerable’ with a high reliance on subsidies to provide financial support.

He said that this was particularly the case for beef, sheep and tillage farmers with 87% of beef farmers, 75% of sheep farmers, and 63% of tillage farmers, acknowledging in the 2021 Irish Farm Report, that their enterprises did not provide them with an adequate income.

“With rising costs of farm inputs, such as fuel, fertiliser and feed, placing additional pressure on profit margins for food producers, the outlook for 2022 farm incomes is bleak.

“Recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have also increased the complexity of this situation, placing renewed focus on the necessity of having a sustainable food supply,” said Mr. Hayden.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Cautious welcome for fodder aid scheme

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Pat Murphy: Scheme should be open to all farmers.

THERE has been a guarded welcome for the Fodder Support Scheme from farm representatives – after an initial hiccup over the exclusion of hill farmers.

Now, according to Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, farmers with Category 1 lands in ANC areas – essentially hill farmers – will be eligibility to draw the payments: €100 per hectare up to a maximum of €1,000.

Connacht IFA Regional Chair, Pat Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that hill farmers should never have been excluded in the scheme in the first place but at least the situation had been remedied following the U-turn by the Minister and the Department.

“In our view the scheme should have been open to all applicants – dairy farmers are still excluded – given the rocketing costs of fertiliser, meal and fuel.

“The scheme will be a help to farmers, but we feel strongly that more aid will be required given the current situation with costs – and also what’s being projected over the coming months,” said Pat Murphy.

He advised farmers to ensure that by the end of the silage season they all had enough fodder in their yards to see them through the Winter ahead.

“You just never know what kind of Winter or Spring we will get – the key thing for every farmer is to have that bit extra in reserve just in case a worst-case scenario emerges,” said Pat Murphy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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