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Crisis looming for suckler cow herd

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SUCKLER cow numbers could slump by as many as 300,000 over the next two to three year period, in the process undermining the whole future of the Irish beef industry, a Galway farm leader has warned this week.

The ‘savage’ winter and spring period of 2012-2013 has prompted many farmers to cut back on suckler cow numbers with most marts reporting a major increase in cull cow sales over the past couple of months.

Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Tom Turley, told the Farming Tribune that the present indications suggested that over the course of this year, suckler cow numbers would be down by around 120,000, reducing the size of the national herd to well below the one million mark.

“The cost of keeping a suckler cow over the course of a year is in the region of €700 to €750 and like everything else if something isn’t paying, there’s only so long that farmers will stick with it.

“Things came to a head over the course of the past winter as feed stocks ran out and many farmers really struggled to keep their stock fed – a lot of suckler farmers have just decided to cut back on numbers for this coming winter,” said Tom Turley.

He said, that over recent weeks and months, the IFA had been trying to get across to Minister Coveney, the critical importance of putting a meaningful coupling payment in place that would help to balance the books of the suckler farmers.

Mr. Turley said that this payment would need to be paid at a minimum level of €150 per cow while he also called for a return of the Suckler Cow Welfare Scheme at its original level of €80 per cow.

“Unless these things happen, we will continue to see alarming reductions in our suckler herd numbers. If the suckler numbers keep falling at their present rate, this would be an absolute disaster for the Irish beef industry.

“At the end of the day, the suckler herd is the very basic building block for the whole industry. Unless the calves are being produced year-in, year-out, then the future of the Irish beef industry is in jeopardy – it is that serious,” said Tom Turley.

He also said that at a time when there was a growing emphasis on stimulating the economy, the value of each animal slaughtered, to the Irish economy, stood at €2,000.

“We are facing into a critical few months in terms of decision making on the nuts and bolts of the CAP agreement. The decision on coupling will be the biggest one for decades in relation to the future of our national suckler herd,” said Tom Turley.

 

Connacht Tribune

Tractor run will remember a local legend

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Some members of the 10-person organising committee for the PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run that takes place in Ardrahan on Sunday, December 11. (Left to right): Anthony Whelan, Brian Kilkelly, Declan Sylver, Patrick Mahoney and Aonghusa Fahy. Absent from the photo are: Mary Forde, Lena Taylor, Conor O’Dea, Gerald Harney and Mícheál Kelly.

THE PJ Mahoney Memorial Tractor Run will take place on Sunday, December 11, in memory of a very well-known and highly regarded figure within the Ardrahan and South Galway local community, who passed away just a year ago this month.

PJ Mahoney was steeped in farming and the GAA and for this he was known far and wide. He was a talisman for Ardrahan GAA, playing in goals for the senior hurling team when they won county hurling titles in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

All down through the years, he was a most dedicated and guiding servant to the club up until his untimely death in a road accident last year.

PJ farmed locally throughout his life and was well known as an agricultural contractor in both Galway and North Clare, a business carried on by his son Patrick.

There are many tales and anecdotes of PJ Mahoney that still bring a smile to the faces of those recalling them.

He was a keystone in the local community, the neighbour you could always call on, and indeed the neighbour that didn’t need to be called upon as he would turn up to help regardless.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

More info needed in land rezoning changes

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Albert Dolan: Start building houses for our young people.

A BIGGER effort needs to be put in by local authorities to notify farmers close to towns and villages – whose land is zoned as residential – according to a number of councillors at this week’s meeting of Galway County Council.

Independent councillor for the Athenry-Oranmore electoral area,  Jim Cuddy, told Monday’s meeting at County Hall that landowners should be written to by the Council to inform them if they had land zoned as residential.

“They should at least be informed that their land has been zoned as residential and will be liable for tax [3% of value]. Some of those people just don’t know if their land has been zoned as residential – they’re just hearing rumours,” said Cllr. Cuddy.

According to Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) there was an onus on the Council to get the information ‘out there’ about zoned land through the various media outlets. However, Cllr. Michael Connolly (FF) said that the issue of land zoning and tax was a decision taken by central government.

“This is national legislation – the local authority can’t be taking this on – we can’t be carrying the can for central government,” added Cllr. Connolly.

Cllr. Albert Dolan (FF) said that young people like himself ‘had damn all chance of buying a house’, adding that this tax wouldn’t be coming into force until 2024. “We need to start building houses for our young people,” he added.

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

Galway is top of the table for payments in GLAS

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Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

GALWAY tops the league both in terms of payment total and farming numbers for the GLAS environmental scheme, the latest figures from the Dept. of Agriculture reveal.

Almost €13.7 million is being paid out in the 2022 Advance GLAS Payments to 3,951 farmers in Galway – averaging out at nearly €3,500 per farmer.

Mayo comes second on the payments list with over €12.4m being paid out to 3,683 farmers – equating to an average payment of just under €3,400 per applicant.

The importance of GLAS payments to the western seaboard counties is also highlighted by the fact that Donegal comes in third on the pay league, with €9.54m being paid to 3,026 farmers in that county – averaging out at just under €3,200 per applicant.

Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, said that the uptake in GLAS across the whole western region highlighted the importance of the scheme to farmers in the more marginal areas.

“While we had hoped that the ACRES would be of a similar nature to GLAS, farmers here in the West still should definitely give serious consideration to applying for inclusion in the new scheme,” said Stephen Canavan.

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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