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Stability in lamb prices needed

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John Donnelly, Galway; John Dillon, Limerick and John Bryan, Kilkenny – all ex-presidents of the IFA – pictured with new president Joe Healy at his celebration night in the Lough Rea Hotel last weekend.

FOLLOWING one of their worst ever winter-spring periods, West of Ireland sheep farmers are pinning their hopes on a stable lamb price for the coming season.

Lamb prices took a slump two weeks ago but have since stabilised – however the IFA have warned that there is just no room for any more price shocks.

Galway IFA Sheep Chairman, Michael Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that sheep farmers in Galway and the West had come through probably their worst ever winter periods.

“It was wet since early November and if that wasn’t bad enough the cold spring then followed on that completely stunted grass growth.

“The winter took a pretty heavy toll on a lot of sheep flocks. Ewes were under a lot of pressure with the weather – there were high mortality levels while feeding costs also shot up,” said Michael Murphy.

The IFA have met with senior representatives of Meat Industry Ireland in an effort to try and put in place measures that would help to stabilise the lamb price in the run-up to the peak June/Summer sales period.

With the hogget market now almost completely dried-up, there are hopes that there should be a solid demand for lambs over the coming weeks.

Michael Murphy said that at least over the last couple of weeks the prices had stabilised with lambs making up to €5.70c a kilo while hoggets were making €5.20c/kg.

“Costs just went through the roof this Winter and Spring and the lack of early grass really hit hard at producers. At least if we could keep the price close to the €5.70c/kg mark through the summer period, it would help to balance the books,” said Michael Murphy.

Meanwhile IFA National Sheep Chairman, John Lynskey, said that a top level IFA delegation led by new President, Joe Healy, would be meeting with the meat industry to try and stabilise the market.

“A sustainable sheep sector needs the seasonal supply spread provided by strong spring lamb and hogget enterprises. Otherwise the processing sector will become more dependent on imports,” said John Lynskey.

According to the IFA an analysis of supplies shows that the lamb kill for last year was up 67,000 head on 2014. To date this year, the hogget kill is up 28,000 head.

Connacht Tribune

Changes agreed on TB testing regime

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Stephen Canavan: Six months test proposal is not on!
Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan

A PROPOSED six-months testing requirement for all bovine animals moving herds will now only apply to cows and males over 36-months old, following discussions over recent weeks between the Dept. of Agriculture and the IFA.

Initially it had been proposed by the Department that the six-months testing regime would be in place for all animals from next year, but the ‘age compromise’ has now been agreed.

However, another major issue now needs to be resolved as to who will pay for a second test when it comes to the sale of the older animals through the marts or from herd to herd.

According to Galway IFA Chairman, Stephen Canavan, the compromise deal on the six-months testing requirement for the older animals – ‘while not ideal’ – was the best that could be achieved.

“The vast majority of mart sales or sales between farmers will involve animals which are under 36 months of age so at least some progress has been made on that issue.

“Now, the negotiations will switch to the issue of who will pay for any of the six-months tests where they apply, and the IFA are taking a very strong line on this.

“The agreement on payment always has been that farmers will only have to pay for one test per year and we will be insisting that this extends onto any seller who has to have a six-months’ test,” said Stephen Canavan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The show goes on . . . for the 183rd time

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At the launch of The Irish Draught Horse Society Show were: Seán McGuirk, Chairman; Elizabeth Dean Coogan, Council Member; Margaret Buckley, Treasurer; John Harney, Chairman Ballinasloe Horse and Agricultural Show; Cllr. Dermot Connolly and Maeve O'Meara, Secretary.

JOHN HARNEY from Mountpleasant first joined the Ballinasloe Horse and Agriculture Show Committee, all of 60-years ago, on April 24, 1962. Both John and the show are still going strong as they celebrate their 183rd event on this Sunday. Here, he looks back on his involvement with this iconic show through the years.

THE Ballinasloe Show back in the early 1960s was going well with both the Showgrounds and Duggan Park both used for running the competitions.

My first introduction to the show was stewarding the pony competitions in the Mountpleasant end of the Duggan Park with the rest of the GAA field being used for trade stands.

At that time, it was a very big show with horses, ponies, cattle and sheep, pigs and fowl – also there was a big garden and farm produce section as well as a home craft and baking section with flowers and plants supported by a very large women’s committee.

At that time, showjumping took place in the afternoon with the top riders in the country taking part.  I was elected Chairman at the AGM in 1975, a position I held for ten years.

During that time, the Duggan Park Committee approached the Show Committee for a piece of the showgrounds behind the GAA Stand for dressing rooms.

This was brought up a number of times at our committee meetings, and at first, the view was that the Duggan Park Committee would buy the ground.

However, after much deliberation it was decided by the Show Committee to ‘give the ground’ for the sum of £1 with the proviso that the dressingrooms could be used on show days by the local ICA to do catering for the event.

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

ACRES away from a proper scheme

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

THE new ACRES environmental scheme came in for scathing criticism at a Connacht IFA meeting this week with farm representatives describing it as being ‘choked with red tape and paperwork’.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that the scheme had turned out to be ‘a sore disappointment’ for West of Ireland farmers who needed a workable and practical scheme to ensure survival into the future.

“The money is not in the scheme; it’s choked with restrictions and rules; and at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee that farmers will get paid for the actions that they undertake,” said Pat Murphy.

Over 100 people attended the regional meeting in Roscommon on Monday night which was addressed by IFA President, Tim Cullinan and Director General, Damian McDonald.

Concerns were also expressed that not all farmers applying for inclusion in ACRES would ‘get in’ by early next year, due to budget limitations on the scheme.

According to Pat Murphy, the scheme is laden down with ‘bureaucracy and red-tape’ as well as putting obstacles in the way of farmers who were more than willing to embrace the whole principle of a proper environmental scheme.

“But even at this late stage, I still believe that practical changes can be made to the scheme which will make it more farmer friendly.

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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