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Farm leaders welcome 70% advance pay-out

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Texel owners line up their 'pride and joys' for judging at the Texel Sheep Show and Sale in Athenry on Monday.

FARM Leaders have warmly welcomed news of a 70% pay-out in the October Basic Payment money as compared to the normal 50% rate – the moves comes after a strong lobbying campaign based on poor incomes this year for a number of sectors.

IFA President Eddie Downey said the 70% proposed advance on the Basic Payment to be paid out on October 16, would be a most welcome financial injection for many cash strapped farmers.

He said that the increased level of advance payment was being made because of the income crisis situation affecting in particular the dairy, grain and pig sectors.

“The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has to ensure the 70% advance includes the Basic greening payments, and that all other EU payments are made on time. The remaining 30% will be due on December 1,” said Eddie Downey.

The advance, he said, was part of a package of measures that the EU Commission and Farm Council brought forward to support farmers, including market measures such as increased intervention prices, APS (aid for private storage) for cheese and export refunds for pigmeat.

According to the IFA President, the EU Commission will have a fund of over €800m worth of surperlevy fines paid by European over-quota farmers.

He said that this must be used to support dairy farmers and not subsumed into the EU overall budget. It is not an option to use the Crisis Reserve as this would impact all farmers’ payments. It should be made available to underpin supports and promotional measures.

“It is critically important that Ministers step up at Monday’s meeting with a strong declaration that Europe will ban below-cost selling of food and address the excessive input costs imposed on farmers. It is vital that Farm Ministers take action to ensure the EU Single Market is working properly,” said Eddie Downey.

Galway IFA Chairman, Pat Murphy, said that the 70% advance payment was most welcome news for farmers under severe cashflow problems this year.

“The dairy sector has been hit particularly hard with the superlevy fines, tax bills from last year and falling prices. This 70% payment will be a help to tide us over until the end of the year,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that many farmers were looking at a situation where bills were mounting up for input products such as feed and fertiliser at a time when their milk cheques had fallen drastically.

Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

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Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

‘Smart villages’: the way forward

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Pictured at the recent opening of the ‘Smart Villages’ office in Mountbellew were: Anne Kinsella, Chairperson of Galway Rural Development; Senator Aisling Dolan; and Minister for Rural Development and Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.

A RECENTLY opened Galway Rural Development (GRD) office in Mountbellew could be the forerunner to similar ‘Smart Villages’ initiatives over the coming years, according to the organisers of the scheme.

The Smart Villages initiative is part of the European Network for Rural Development, aimed at improving services in country areas such as health, social, energy, transport and retail.

The Mountbellew office was officially opened by Minister for Rural/Community Affairs  Heather Humphreys, who said that the initiative marked an important step forward in terms of rural development.

CEO of Galway Rural Development, Steve Dolan, said that last year they had picked out Mountbellew as their pilot location for the Smart Villages project which would offer a lot of opportunities for rural communities mainly through the use of information and communications technology

“Smart Village training has been developed and delivered, up-skilling many in the community in local development, connectivity, sustainability, and more. The opening of this office in Mountbellew is as a result of our shared efforts,” said Steve Dolan.

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.

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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

Anger as factories continue to chop lamb price

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Stephen Canavan: No reason for price cuts.

THE meat plants have been accused of trying ‘to make a fast buck’ on the backs of sheep farmers with lamb prices now back by a euro per kilo, as compared to just over a month ago.

Farm leaders have said that the factories are trying ‘to tough it out’ before more finished lambs begin to come on the market over the next month or so.

Galway IFA Chairman,  Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune that there was no good reason for the chain of factory price cuts over the past five weeks or so.

“All the information we are getting is that the supply of finished lambs is still quite limited but the factories have obviously taken a decision to cut now, before the number of finished lambs increase through the Autumn.

“It’s just another example of the meat plants trying to make a fast buck at the expense of the primary producer at a time when input costs for farmers have never been as high,” said Stephen Canavan.

Lamb prices are this week hovering at the €6.50 per kg mark – down from a high of over €7.50 per kg in late June, equating to a price drop for farmers of around €20 per lamb.

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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