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Farming

Habitat farmers call for new plan

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Sean Mannion from Abbeyknockmoy and Karen McHugh from Belclare at the Galway IFA 60th anniversary celebration held at the Loug Rea Hotel. photo: hany marzouk.

PRESSURE is being put on Heritage Minister, Heathere Humphreys, to put in place a specific scheme for farmers who face severe restrictions due to designation and habitat restrictions.

A top level IFA delegation met with Minister Humphreys in Dublin to press for the new scheme, that would operate separately from the GLAS environmental package.

IFA SAC (Special Areas of Conservation) Project Team Chairman, Tom Turley, said that the problem had arisen since the abolition in 2010 of the NPWS (National Parks and Wildlife Service) Farm Plan Scheme.

This scheme had provided specific compensation for various habitat areas, separate to agri-environmental schemes.

One of the major issues that had arisen is the abolition in 2010 of the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme, which had provided specific compensation for various habitat areas, separate to agri-environment schemes.

IFA SAC Project Team Chairman Tom Turley called on the Minster to reinstate this approach and to put in place a specific scheme for various habitat areas, separate to the GLAS Scheme.

“It is only fair that farmers be compensated for restrictions placed on their lands and provided with a level of compensation that truly reflects the income loss and deals with the devaluation of property,” said Tom Turley.

He added that farmers who lived in areas with Hen Harriers restrictions in place had their properties seriously devalued with forestry ‘sterilised’ on those lands.

“An outcome that would allow appropriate developments to take place must be forthcoming at an early date and in particular the ban on afforestation must be removed and replaced with an assessment process,” said Tom Turley.

Flor McCarthy, IFA Rural Development Chairman said farmers carrying out fencing in designated mountain areas were being forced to seek planning permission and approval from the NPWS, leading to significant costs for hill farmers already on low incomes.

“IFA is proposing the NPWS should be able to sign off on fencing applications or should pay all costs associated with seeking planning permission,” said Mr. McCarthy.

At last week’s meeting, Minister Humphreys gave a commitment that the review of Hedge Cutting and Gorse Burning would be published in the next fortnight.

IFA are seeking a change to the burning date to the middle of April and a narrowing of the current hedge cutting prohibition period from April 1 to August 31.

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.

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Connacht Tribune

Extended dry spells and some heavy downpours were all part of the menu

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Brendan Geraghty

A WET end to June . . . a golden spell in mid-July . . . and a serious downpour on the first day of August, were the main talking points of our 2022 Summer season of weather so far.

While June was slightly wetter than average in many West of Ireland locations, July was quite a dry month with an exceptional spell of weather from July 2 to the 19th.

August though really began with a bang as weather stations across the West of Ireland recorded rainfall amounts of around an inch (25.4mms.) on Monday last, the Bank Holiday.

Rainfall in the Athenry Met Éireann station on Monday was 22.6mms which came on top of another downpour last Saturday when 18.6mms. of rain fell there.

However, that pales into insignificance as compared to the 47.5mms of rainfall recorded at the Newport Furnace weather station in Mayo on Monday – the wettest place in Ireland.

Newport also had a bad rain month in June with 148mms. of rainfall as compared to the 79.4mms. recorded in Athenry for our sixth month of the year.

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

Farmers are willing to play their part on climate change strategy but they need support

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Jack Chambers TD, Government Chief Whip and Minister for Sport; John Finn, Galway IFA National Council Delegate; Minister of State and East Galway TD, Anne Rabbitte; Stephen Canavan, Galway IFA Chairman; and Cllr. Michael Connolly (FF) at their meeting in Caltra last Friday to discuss the issue of proposed reductions in emissions from agriculture.

FARM leaders in the west have hit out at campaigns in the national media and in some political circles to try and ‘demonise’ farmers in the debate on agricultural emission reductions.

According to western farm leaders, there was a real commitment by farmers across the country to play their part on the whole issue of climate change, but they had ‘to be supported and not castigated’.

A decision on the agriculture emissions reduction target for farmers between now and 2030 is expected to be taken at Cabinet this week with the crux of the issue now resting on the percentage cut – a range of between 22% and 30%.

While almost every TD and Senator across the country had been lobbied on the issue by the IFA and other farming organisations, it now seems likely that the ‘cuts percentage’ will now be a Cabinet decision.

Last Friday, Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan and IFA National Council Rep. John Finn met with Government Chief Whip, Jack Chambers (a Galway native) and Minister of State Anne Rabbitte in Caltra to discuss the proposed emissions cuts.

“I would have to say that we did get a fair hearing from Minister of State Anne Rabbitte and Chief Whip, Jack Chambers – they do understand where we’re coming from, and they do accept our willingness to play our part in the whole climate change agenda.

“But this is an agricultural agenda being driven by Minister Eamon Ryan and the Green Party and we need our rural TDs and Senators to take a stand on this issue.

“It also seems to me that the national media are hell bent on driving a rural-urban divide agenda in trying to demonise farmers who are more than willing to play their part in reducing emissions,” Stephen Canavan told the Farming Tribune.

He said that all ‘the good stuff’ farmers were doing in relation to emissions reductions such as low emission slurry spreading (LESS), the planting of trees and hedgerows, their role in wetlands, the use of protected urea, as well as the introduction of additives in feed and slurry, were not being factored into the whole equation.

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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