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Combines ‘on road’ for just six weeks are liable for full yearly road tax

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GALWAY farm leaders have hit out at the unfairness of the annual road tax system that’s in place for combines and self-propelled silage harvesters, even though they are only on the road for a couple of months each year.

After a week in which the queues for motor tax at Galway County Hall stretched out onto the footpaths at Bohermore, there has been considerable anger expressed at how the issue was handled by the Dept. of the Environment.

Bertie Roche, Chairman of the IFA’s Environmental Committee, told the Farming Tribune that the attitude of Environment Minister, Phil Hogan, in stubbornly refusing to grant an extension of the tax deadline date was ‘extremely disappointing’.

“I think that if the Minister announced over the weekend that the deadline was being extended for a couple of weeks, it would have prevented the kind of chaos people experienced this week.

“It wasn’t fair on the Council staff either, who did their level best to cope with the queues but the numbers were too much. A bit of common sense from the Minister, could have sorted this out,” said Bertie Roche.

IFA Grain Committee Chairman, Eamonn Burke, said that there was an inequity in the tax regime that applied to combine harvesters and self propelled silage harvesters.

“In the case of combines, they are only on the road for a couple of hours a day for a maximum of a six weeks period, yet there is no provision there for them to make a quarterly payment.

“For contractors the annual road tax rate for these machines comes in at over €300 and there is real inequity there at having to tax such vehicles for a full year,” said Eamonn Burke.

Concerns have also been raised at the high tax rate for quads or ATVs, also in the €300 plus bracket, for machines that are used most of the time on land.

Meanwhile there is also confusion over the testing regime and details that will apply to people who have to sit the ‘car and trailer test’ over the coming weeks and months.

Bertie Roche has advised farmers to contact the RSA (Road Safety Authority) Office in Loughrea in relation to any queries they have as regards the trailer licence stipulation.

“I’ve had a lot queries over recent weeks from farmers who cannot get details of this test. They are wondering where the test has to be carried out and they don’t know any details about the test centres,” said Bertie Roche.

The RSA Office in Loughrea can be contacted on lo-call: 1890-443-311 or email: www.transport.ie

Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Green Ribbon walk in Coole

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Galway farmers who took part in the IFA’s Green Ribbon walk

AT long last, it was back to the great outdoors on Sunday last for a party of Galway farmers (pictured) who took part in the IFA’s Green Ribbon walk at Coole Park, Gort.

It was all part of the IFA’s national day out at different venues across the country to promote the concepts of good mental health and people taking care of each other.

With the easing of Covid restrictions, IFA is encouraging families and individuals to get ‘out and about’ as a way of helping to relieving the stresses of daily life.

Close on 40 people took part in the walk through the beautiful grounds of Coole Park and it is hoped to have many more on what should be an unrestricted event next year.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said that the walk to promote awareness of mental health issues, represented a return to some form of normality as Ireland gradually came out of the pandemic.

“It was a lovely event to promote mental health and wellbeing among all ages. Already we are looking forward to next year’s walk when we hope to have a lot more people taking part,” said Anne Mitchell.

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Connacht Tribune

Bord Bia say demand is ‘on the up’ for quality assured lambs

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Market growing for quality assured Irish lamb.

WHILE 95% of Irish beef is quality assured (QA) at the point of slaughter, the comparable figure for Irish lamb is only 60%, according to the latest Farmer Newsletter from the Bord Bia Quality Assured body.

It pointed out that while QA status on Irish lamb has been important on the domestic market for some time, there has recently been growing interest from key EU customers in securing quality assured Irish lamb.

“Purchasers of Irish lamb products are increasingly looking for proof that meat is produced sustainably on farms that are certified members of an accredited quality assurance scheme.

“Such a quality assurance scheme is to be based on sustainability principles incorporating environmental, social and economic aspects,” the newsletter states.

It also stated the importance of presenting lambs for slaughter that meet customer specifications as regards weight limits and fat cover.

The current specification from the major processors is generally for R grading lambs or better with a fat score of 3 and a carcase weight of 21kg, according to Bord Bia.

They state that upper carcase weight limits can vary across the year from 20kg-23kg, with ‘no economic sense’ in keeping lambs to heavier carcase weights if they can be finished sooner.

“Killing a lamb with adequate fat cover is also essential to meet customer requirements, and in recent weeks, some reports have indicated an increase in the number of under-finished lambs being presented for slaughter due to deadweight prices coming under pressure.

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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