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Farming

Credit Unions can fill loan gap

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Michael Culkeen . . . Farmers are most welcome customers.

FARMERS finding it difficult to get credit from the main banks and financial institutions have been advised this week that the Credit Union outlets in Galway are ‘more than willing’ to provide loans.

Last month, the IFA – along with a number of retail concerns – said that farmers and small businesses were being denied badly needed credit by the main banks.

The IFA also accused the banks of imposing unreasonable conditions in situations where farmers had sought to put refinancing arrangments in place.

However this week, one of the region’s leading credit unions said that farmers would find that the Credit Union movement a very willing partner in terms of credit and loan facilities.

Michael Culkeen, Manager of Tuam Credit Union, told the Farming Tribune that many small to medium sized farmers had found loans difficult to access from banks.

“Many of these are people who have credit union accounts as they are. These are people who are honest, straightforward and hard working – our doors are open for business to these people,” said Michael Culkeen.

He said that through the thick and thin of the financial crisis since 2008, the amount of default in farming debt continued to be very low.

“While some of the bigger commercial farmers have been able to access credit, the smaller operator – with maybe 20 cattle and fifty sheep – has not been accommodated by the banks.

“The Credit Union movement want to get the message out there that if such members of the farming community want to finance some project, that we are very much in the business of being able to help them out,” said Michael Culkeen.

The IFA along with the Vintners Federation, the Property Owners Association and the RGDATA retail group, said last month that farmers and other small businesses were enduring high levels of stress due to the credit squeeze.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Angus breeders to hold charity auction of semen this weekend

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No shortage of bull at weekend charity online auction of Angus straws.

IT’S no cock-and-bull story as a novel auction this weekend hopes to raise thousands of euros . . . by selling semen.

Well over 100 lots of the semen – all generously donated by elite Aberdeen Angus bulls – will come under the hammer in the online auction.

The main organiser of the auction is Westmeath’s Colin Duffy of the renowned Kilgarvin Angus Herd with the help of other top breeders.

In total, 117 straws from 45 top Angus bulls will ‘come under the hammer’ in the auction which runs from 1pm on this Friday, Jan. 27 to 7pm on Monday, Jan. 30.

MartEye, the online marts’ sales service, along with Mid-Tipp Marts, will be the official host of the event which is set to benefit two very worthwhile charities.

All proceeds will go to the Irish Community Ambulance service – and Bumbleance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service.

Along with Kilgarvin Angus straws, Jim Dockery’s Towras; Michael Dullea’s Deelishs and Stuart McKeague’s Angus semen will be available to bid on over the weekend.

Also involved in the project is Catherina Cunnane, Editor of the ‘That’s Farming’ news website while AI (artificial insemination) companies are also supporting the charity fundraiser.

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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Connacht Tribune

Sheep farmers facing a disaster

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IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey

THOUSANDS of sheep farmers across the western region are facing into a severe income crisis with lamb prices down by around €1 per kg, as compared to this time last year.

The drop in prices – which started to click in since mid-December – has also coincided with a steep rise in input costs, especially feed and ration over the past year.

Farm representatives have called on the factories to show ‘a responsible approach’ in trying to keep a floor on prices as the downward trend continues to bite through the first half of January.

IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey, said the Department’s Annual Review and Outlook 2022 had clearly set out the crisis facing sheep farms as market prices failed to reflect the higher production costs on farms.

Lamb quotes at the factories in mid-January have been coming in at around the €6.20/€6.30 (tops) per kg – this time last year the equivalent figure was €7.20/€7.30 per kg.

According to IFA representatives, demand for lamb at the meat plant seems ‘slow’ with a surplus of New Zealand lamb cited as one of the reasons for the lull in the market.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, that on average, lamb prices were back by around €20 per head, as compared to this time last year.

He said that the sluggish market for lambs in Ireland was being mirrored in the UK, but French farmers were enjoying a buoyant trade with average prices of €8 per kg.

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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