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Farming

No sign of move on cattle prices as numbers soar

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WITH the weekly cattle kill remaining stubbornly high, there again seems to be little, if any, movement on cattle prices from the meat plants, despite an ongoing IFA campaign for better rates to be paid.

Cattle numbers going through the factories every week are now hitting the 32,000/33,000 mark giving very high supply levels and allowing the factories to ‘at best’ leave prices to stand.

By mid-March of this year, the total kill in Irish meat plants stood at 343,622 as compared to 314,689 for the same period last year.

For the week ending March 16 just gone by the kill figures stood at almost 33,000 while for the same week last year the corresponding figure was just 26,245, according to the Bord Bia figures.

Another factor affecting the supply and demand balance is the large numbers of Friesian bulls now coming into the chain, following a major move a couple of years back to retain those animals for finishing.

According to Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, those animals are now hitting the meat plants in large numbers and consequently ‘swelling’ the numbers going through.

“With the numbers coming through, the factories think that they can do what they like, but really they must look at the long term picture.

“If beef production becomes unviable for farmers, then over the coming years this will have major repercussions for the entire industry. Keeping prices down and cutting them, is a very short-sighted policy by the factories,” said Michael Flynn.

The trend in keeping the Friesian bulls though may be easing with some of the major mart cattle sales in the South, reporting major exports of male animals.

“The live trade is absolutely critical for us. The more animals we can move on the hoof, the more pressure that will be on the factories to secure supplies. We must do everything possible to promote the live trade,” said Michael Flynn.

He also accused the factories of changing the ‘spec’ for bulls to be slaughtered from week to week leaving farmers in no-mans-land as regards weight and age.

“While heifers and steers are holding their own this week, there is again downward pressure on the bulls,” said Michael Flynn.

For the mid-March period, Bord Bia reported the price for R4L grade steers in Britain coming in at €4.47/kg as compared to €3.79 in Ireland.

However Bord Bia reported a slow demand for beef on the French market, apparently partly due to the ongoing mild weather while other continental countries reported little change in demand also.

Connacht Tribune

Fair Deal reached as Bill is enacted

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Maura Canning: Good day expected.
Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson

RELIEF has been expressed this week in farming and political circles that at last the Fair Deal Nursing Home legislations changes have been passed by the Oireachtas.

The Bill went through the Dáil last Thursday and the Seanad on Friday, bringing to a conclusion a campaign that started back in 2012.

Maura Canning, the former IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs Chairperson, told the Farming Tribune there was a great sense of relief that a nine-year long campaign had at last got over the line.

“It has been such a long and difficult campaign to secure this deal with a lot of complications and obstacles along the way. At times, we seemed to be almost there, until something happened to hold up the process, but there really was a great sense of relief last Friday when the Bill at last passed through its final stages,” said Maura Canning.

She paid a particular to former Minister of State, Jim Daly; the current incumbent Mary Butler; and also to the many TDs and Senators that had been lobbied over the years on the issue. “No TD ever failed to return a call,” she said.

The key change in the new Bill is that there will be a three-year cap on the 7.5% annual contribution of the overall value of the farm where the farmer or their spouse is in a nursing home. There are a number of conditions attached to this CAP, the most significant of which is the fact that the farm must be signed over fully to the inheritor for a five-year period and this person must also continue farming on the land.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Stay safe on the farm

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GALWAY farmers have again been reminded during Farm Safety Week to ‘stop, think and slow down’ as they go about their work during the busy Summer season – and indeed for the rest of the year as well.

Roy O’Brien, Galway/Mayo IFA Regional Executive, told the Farming Tribune that too many farm families had been impacted upon by fatalities or life-changing injuries over recent years.

“In their daily work, farmers have to be a bit of everything from a vet to a mechanic to a driver of heavy machinery and often these tasks have to be carried out with no one else around.

“I think that this change of duties represents one of the big challenges to farmers in terms of their own health and safety. Every day can bring a new job and a new safety challenge,” said Roy O’Brien.

Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, said it was shocking to think that between 2011 and 2020, 21 children had lost their lives in farm accidents across the country.

“While children look forward to being home on the farm for the Summer, now is an important time to have conversations about safety.

“Tell them about the dangers and set the rules but don’t expect a child to take on the responsibility of keeping themselves safe. Children do not understand risk,” said Anne Mitchell.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

Top ten steps to reduce GHGs

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Suckler herds: The longer they can be kept out to grass, the better it is for reducing emissions.

TEAGASC has outlined a 10-step programme to help beef farmers reduce their carbon footprint over the coming years as part of agriculture’s contribution to the cutting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist, has outlined that 68% of all agricultural GHG emissions in Ireland are methane based while almost all the rest are nitrous oxide – less than 3% are carbon dioxide.

She explained in the latest edition of the Teagasc magazine, Today’s Farm, that methane is a by-product of the digestive system of animals while nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas caused by the breakdown of nitrogen.

In terms of methane reductions, Martina Harrington, recommends more efficient suckler cows; better daily weight gains from calves; the possible use of feed additives; and an extension of the grazing season to reduce slurry volumes.

As regards nitrous oxide, she recommends a reduction in the amount of synthetic fertiliser to be applied by improving soil fertility, especially in relation to soil pH levels [liming].

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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