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Farming

Butchers’ absence gives a monopoly to factory buyers

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Bridie and Tom O'Connor, Brownsgrove with their daughter Imelda O'Connor O'Dea at the opening of her safety consultancy office in Tuam last week. PHOTOS: JOHNNY RYAN PHOTOGRAPHY.

THE absence of the traditional butcher buyers around the mart pens has been cited as one of the main reasons for the lack of competition in the lamb trade, following nearly two weeks of price slumps in the trade.

Galway sheep farmers have been left reeling with a price drop of around €1 per kg. over the past week and a half at the meat plants – lambs are now down almost €20 a head from the mid-June prices.

Michael Murphy, Galway IFA Sheep Committee Chairman told the Farming Tribune that once the price fell below €5 per kg. for lambs at the factories, their production wasn’t viable anymore.

“Sadly there is a monopoly situation with the factories. Now nearly all of the butchers source their lamb from the factories which means that the competition just isn’t there anymore at the marts,” said Michael Murphy.

He said that the IFA were meeting with the meat plan bosses this week in an effort to put some kind of floor on the market but there were serious concerns over factories ‘profiteering’ at the expense of farmers.

“While prices traditionally do drop off during the month of June, the cut this year has been particularly severe – down from €5.50/€5.40 per kg. in mid-June to €4.50/kg. this week.

“The scale of this cut is really coming at a bad time in terms of confidence in the run-up to the breeding season. The price needs to come back up to the €5/kg. mark,” said Michael Murphy.

The market situation for lambs has also been affected by a lower than expected demand by live exporters in the run-up to the Ramadan Muslim observance season (June 18 to July 17) as well as increased movement of Spanish lambs into France. Live exports are expected to pick-up as Ramadan draws to a close in mid-July.

Sheep farmers also continue to be angry at the ongoing factories policy of not paying the ‘extra weight’ for lambs that are over the 18kg. to 21kg. category.

IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman, John Lynskey, said that sheep farmers were very dependent on lamb prices for their incomes.

“Many producers selling lambs to date have incurred high costs with meal feeding. It is of vital importance that lamb prices are stabilised and maintained at viable levels to maintain confidence in the sector,” said John Lynskey.

Loughrea Mart – similar to other marts across the county –reported a very disappointing lamb trade at their last sale with reduced factory quotes reflected in the mart trade.

“It’s a sad state when you can get more for a cull ewe than a good lamb,” said a Mart spokesman.

Gort Mart reported prices are well back with little demand from wholesalers and ‘no live exports’ as yet this year. €100 was tops for prices at the part with €85 to €95 a head reflecting the general run of the trade.

Connacht Tribune

Fair Deal reached as Bill is enacted

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Maura Canning: Good day expected.
Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson

RELIEF has been expressed this week in farming and political circles that at last the Fair Deal Nursing Home legislations changes have been passed by the Oireachtas.

The Bill went through the Dáil last Thursday and the Seanad on Friday, bringing to a conclusion a campaign that started back in 2012.

Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson, told the Farming Tribune there was a great sense of relief that a nine-year long campaign had at last got over the line.

“It has been such a long and difficult campaign to secure this deal with a lot of complications and obstacles along the way. At times, we seemed to be almost there, until something happened to hold up the process, but there really was a great sense of relief last Friday when the Bill at last passed through its final stages,” said Maura Canning.

She paid a particular to former Minister of State, Jim Daly; the current incumbent Mary Butler; and also to the many TDs and Senators that had been lobbied over the years on the issue. “No TD ever failed to return a call,” she said.

The key change in the new Bill is that there will be a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual contribution of the overall value of the farm where the farmer or their spouse is in a nursing home. There are a number of conditions attached to this CAP, the most significant of which is the fact that the farm must be signed over fully to the inheritor for a five-year period and this person must also continue farming on the land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Stay safe on the farm

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GALWAY farmers have again been reminded during Farm Safety Week to ‘stop, think and slow down’ as they go about their work during the busy Summer season – and indeed for the rest of the year as well.

Roy O’Brien, Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Executive, told the Farming Tribune that too many farm families had been impacted upon by fatalities or life-changing injuries over recent years.

“In their daily work, farmers have to be a bit of everything from a vet to a mechanic to a driver of heavy machinery and often these tasks have to be carried out with no one else around.

“I think that this change of duties represents one of the big challenges to farmers in terms of their own health and safety. Every day can bring a new job and a new safety challenge,” said Roy O’Brien.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said it was shocking to think that between 2011 and 2020, 21 children had lost their lives in farm accidents across the country.

“While children look forward to being home on the farm for the Summer, now is an important time to have conversations about safety.

“Tell them about the dangers and set the rules but don’t expect a child to take on the responsibility of keeping themselves safe. Children do not understand risk,” said Anne Mitchell.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Top ten steps to reduce GHGs

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Suckler herds: The longer they can be kept out to grass, the better it is for reducing emissions.

TEAGASC has outlined a 10-step programme to help beef farmers reduce their carbon footprint over the coming years as part of agriculture’s contribution to the cutting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist, has outlined that 68% of all agricultural GHG emissions in Ireland are methane based while almost all the rest are nitrous oxide – less than 3% are carbon dioxide.

She explained in the latest edition of the Teagasc magazine, Today’s Farm, that methane is a by-product of the digestive system of animals while nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas caused by the breakdown of nitrogen.

In terms of methane reductions, Martina Harrington, recommends more efficient suckler cows; better daily weight gains from calves; the possible use of feed additives; and an extension of the grazing season to reduce slurry volumes.

As regards nitrous oxide, she recommends a reduction in the amount of synthetic fertiliser to be applied by improving soil fertility, especially in relation to soil pH levels [liming].

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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