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Farming

Grass and silage are back to normal levels

Francis Farragher

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OUR cracking summer weather from June through to August has restored grass growth to average levels for the year and helped farmers to replenish fodder stocks for the coming winter, Teagasc have confirmed this week.

Teagasc Regional Manager, Brendan Heneghan, told the Farming Tribune that nature and the weather had done a wonderful job in terms of making up for grass and fodder shortages of the first half of the year.

“The resurgence in growth really started in June while the July heatwave really did a great job in drying up fields that had been wet for nearly a year.

“With soil temperatures high right through the summer, the growth has been exceptionally good with grass really coming on through the month of August.

“The change in the weather and the consequent improvement in grass growth has been a tremendous tonic to the farming community – it really has lifted the morale of farmers everywhere,” said Brendan Heneghan.

He said that on a farm walk in Cortoon this week, a farmer had shown a field now full of lush grass – this time last year, stock had to be taken off the same field due to the ground conditions.

Galway IFA Environment Chairman, Bertie Roche, reminded farmers this week that they should also look at the possibility of putting out some nitrogen between now and the end of September to prolong the grazing season.

“After the bad start to year, we did succeed in getting an extension of two weeks on the nitrogen spreading season. This window, until September 30, can offer farmers the opportunity to ‘drive on’ some late grass,” said Bertie Roche.

He said that the October 15 deadline for slurry and dung spreading still remained unchanged, although the extended run of dry conditions over the summer had eased a lot of the pressure in this area.

“Farmers do of course have to keep an eye on their overall nitrogen output as part of the Nitrates Directive but the majority of farmers will be well within this limit.

“The very good ground conditions should also allow for a far later grazing season, unless of course the weather takes a serious turn for the worse,” said Bertie Roche.

He said that many farmers across the county had taken the opportunity to close off paddocks for second cut silage with both the return and the quality turning out to be excellent.

“We are certainly looking at a far healthier situation than this time last year when already some farmers had to have stock housed.

“An extension of this year’s grazing season would be a great start for farmers everywhere and contribute greatly to easing any fodder supply concerns,” said Bertie Roche.

Connacht Tribune

New design aims to take the backache from those last scoops in feed bin

Francis Farragher

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Michael and Brenda Egan with their new ‘Tipsy Bin’ – designed to make life easier ‘on the back’ for farmers.

IT can be the bane of many farmers’ lives in their yard as they try to extract the last buckets of meal from their bin leading to one big stretch and at times a stretched back too.

Now, a Glenamaddy entrepreneur is fully confident that he has ‘cracked the problem’ after designing a meal bin that neatly leans over on a bevel to take the ache out of that final clean out.

A couple of years back while out on his brother’s farm, Michael Egan, noticed how awkward it was ‘to get to the bottom of the bin’ and in one of those Eureka moments he thought that there just ‘had to be a better way’.

An Operations Manager for Kingspan and Rom Plastics before that, Michael set about designing the new bin which also incorporates a flat base and a clever water draining hole to facilitate an easy wash out.

Along with his wife Brenda, they have set up a company called Megafab who are now distributing their new Tipsy Bin to locations around the country but mostly in direct sales to farmers.

“We are aiming to sell directly to farmers and feel that the bin at €299 (including VAT) is quite keenly price with a  small delivery charge, depending on location.

“Initially we had hoped to launch the product in March but then the COVID situation happened so we put it off until October and I’m delighted to say that we’re flying it so far. The bin is very practical and user-friendly,” Michael Egan told the Farming Tribune.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Organic farmers in West get €1.3m

Francis Farragher

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Pippa Hackett: More money on the way for organic farming.

CLOSE on 70 organic farmers in Galway will be receiving average payments of almost €4,700 under the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS), the Dept. of Agriculture have confirmed.

Minister of State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Senator Pippa Hackett, confirmed the start of €5.5m worth of OFS payments to 1,200 farmers across the country from Wednesday last.

She said that the advance payments were being made two weeks ahead of schedule, with the success of the scheme being reflected in a 50% increase in organic farming acreage since 2014.

Currently, there are 68 Galway farmers in the OFS scheme who between them will be getting payments of €319,041 this week, an average of €4,691 per participant.

Between the five Connacht counties and Clare, there are now 366 farmers participating in the OFS scheme bringing in total advance payments of just over €1.3m, an average of  €3,500 per participant.

Roscommon has the biggest number of organic farmers in the West with a total figure of 141 participants followed by Galway on 68, Clare and Leitrim 51 each, with Mayo and Sligo having 56 organic farmers split evenly between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

New faces on IFA commodities committee

Francis Farragher

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A NUMBER of new faces will be elected onto the Galway IFA Commodities Committee in a postal vote that will begin next week and be completed by early December.

The most keenly contested position looks like being that of Rural Development representative with three candidates going for the job.

Eamonn Burke, Corrandulla branch, was the outgoing representative, but his term of office ends this month, opening the way for three new nominations.

They are: PJ Conroy, Looscaun, Woodford; Pat Flaherty, Oranmore and Peter Gohery of the Eyrecourt branch.

Rural Development is considered one of the more important positions in that it will be ‘fighting the case’ for the bigger spending areas such as REPS, GLAS and any new environmental scheme.

The other contest is for the position of Grain Representative which had been held by John Daly of Kilconnell, whose term of office is also up.

There are two nomination for this position – Eamonn Burke of Corrandulla and Mervyn Cooke of the Aughrim IFA branch.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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.

Continue Reading

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