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Massive response to waste pilot project

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THERE was a massive response this week to the pilot project for the collection of hazardous farm waste in Ballinasloe with over 11 tonnes of material deposited.

Over 160 farmers made use of the Teagasc organised ‘bring centre’ at Ballinasloe Mart with a wide range of product brought in for safe disposal, including oils, pesticides, veterinary products, paints and electrical equipment.

Now the aim of Teagasc is that such a controlled and supervised collection arrangement for the disposal of such materials can be established on an annual basis, affording farmers the opportunity to ‘keep a clean shed’ all year round.

Teagasc Environmental Specialist and Co-ordinator of the series of ‘bring centres’ around the country, Mark Gibson, said that this week’s collection in Ballinasloe had been a tremendous success.

“We were probably at the point where we just couldn’t take much more but once farmers were given the opportunity to properly dispose of such materials, they availed of it.

“We believe that the success of this pilot project will help us to secure the funding for the establishment of a more regular service to be put in place.

“Farmers, for example, are very much into the routine of disposing of their waste plastic at the end of each season – what would be ideal is that in tandem with this, a service for the ‘take in’ of hazardous waste, would also be provided on an annual basis,” said Mark Gibson.

Last Monday at Ballinasloe Mart, waste oils provided the biggest chunk of the waste materials but there was also a significant amount of pesticides ‘left in’ as well.

A large amount of waste electrical materials were also deposited at the centre with back-up transportation having to be called in by the organisers to remove it.

With a number of chemical products being ‘delisted or deregistered’ over the past year or so, farmers have been advised by Teagasc, that they only have an 18 month window for the use of such products from the delisting date.

Mark Gibson also advised farmers that over the coming years, the correct storage and disposal of pesticides, chemicals and veterinary products would be an important part of cross compliance requirements

“However, what last Monday clearly showed is that farmers are more than willing to ensure that any waste products they have on their farms should be disposed of in a proper manner,” said Mark Gibson.

Connacht Tribune

Farmers are advised to get early advice on 2023 Nitrates Derogation requirements

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Tighter limits in latest Nitrates Derogation requirements. Photo: Courtesy of Teagasc.

MORE intensively stocked farmers – the vast majority of them in the dairy sector – have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture to ‘engage as soon as possible’ with the Nitrates Derogation application process.

Charlie McConalogue also advised dairy farmers who previously did not avail of the derogation to consult with their agricultural advisors – given the new excretion rate bands applicable to dairy cows since January 1, 2023.

The Minister added that the Nitrates Derogation provided farmers with an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates without compromising water quality.

“The Nitrates Derogation is subject to certain strict conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive.”

“All farmers have an important role to play in protecting our environment, particularly those farming more intensively.

“It is crucial that we protect and restore our waters as soon as possible to maintain the Nitrates Derogation at current levels into the future.

“Water quality is crucial to a healthy environment and farmers are keen to drive further improvements here,” said the Minister.

The Dept. of Agriculture has outlined the three bands applicable for dairy cows: 80kg N/cow; 92 kg N/cow; and 106 kg N/cow per year.  Previously, all dairy cows were considered equal in terms of a nutrient excretion rate at 89kg N/cow per year.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway farmers to meet on crisis in sheep

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David Harney: Common sense has prevailed.
Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney

GALWAY sheep farmers will get the chance to vent their feelings on the prices and cost crisis facing the sector at a meeting in Tuam next week.

The meeting – hosted by Galway IFA – will take place in the Ard Rí House Hotel, Tuam, on Wednesday, February 8, starting at 8pm.

It follows a national meeting of sheep farmers in Athlone last month at which the problems facing the sector in terms of declining prices, rising costs and lack of Government aid were highlighted.

According to Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, information provided at the Athlone meeting by Teagasc specialists indicated a profitability level of only €7 per ewe for sheep farmers.

“This is absolutely flabbergasting. No member of society could work 24/7 and expect such a miserly return. Government support for the sheep industry is essential now in order to preserve the sector,” said Stephen Canavan.

Galway IFA Sheep representative David Harney also stated that the recent government report into the wool industry had provided nothing to sheep farmers that would give confidence in the future.

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

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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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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