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Stability in lamb prices needed

Francis Farragher

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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

Locals thanked for demo backing

Francis Farragher

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Anne Mitchell: Great local support.

GALWAY IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, has thanked the people of Athenry and surrounding areas for their support during Friday’s Action Day protest.

She told the Farming Tribune that the demonstration was planned to cause ‘absolute minimal disruption’ to the people, schools and businesses of the town as well as being conscious of Covid restrictions.

“We really didn’t want anyone on the streets because of the Covid situation and we also advised that where there was more than one person in a vehicle, and not from the same household, that they would wear masks,” said Anne Mitchell.

She said that they were also acutely aware of the fact that the Leaving Cert examinations were going on in schools around the town which dictated their decision to stage the protest between 11am and 12 noon.

However, one concerned parent who contacted this newspaper, said that the honking of horns could be heard by those who were doing their Leaving Cert geography exam on Friday.

“While I do understand the reasons behind the protest, I just think that the honking of horns should have been left out it, while an exam was in progress,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Athenry’s action day a wake-up call for the West

Francis Farragher

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The tractorcade is ready to roll in Athenry on Friday in the IFA protest over farm viability and the Climate Action Bill.

AN estimated ‘200 plus’ tractors, cars and jeeps took part in Friday’s IFA ‘Action Day’ protest in Athenry aimed at highlighting major problems coming down the track with the ‘new CAP’ and the Climate Action Bill.

Connacht IFA Chairperson, Pat Murphy, said that they were delighted with the turnout and also with the positive reception they received from the people of Athenry.

“If farming and agriculture go to the wall in rural Ireland it will sound the death-knell for our provincial and villages too.

“We really do need our politicians to wake up to the fact that decisions made over the coming weeks or months could decide the future of rural Ireland as we know it,” said Pat Murphy.

He said that an agenda being driven by the Green Party to drastically reduce the numbers of suckler cows, dairy cows and cattle across Ireland would have a catastrophic impact on Irish agriculture, unless amendments were made to the Climate Action Bill.

“If Irish farmers are prevented in producing the food that’s accepted as being probably the most environmentally friendly and traceable product across the world, then that gap will be filled by countries like Brazil where rain forests are being cut down every single day of the year,” said Pat Murphy.

He also said that the negotiations on CAP coming up at the end of this month would also have huge implications for farming and especially so in the West of Ireland where farms were so dependent on direct payments.

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

Minister outlines ‘tough road ahead’

Francis Farragher

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Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue

A CRITICAL part of the eventual CAP deal for farmers will rest with the flexibility of the Irish Government to make its own decisions on where the money will be allocated, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, told the Farming Tribune last week.

During a whistle-stop tour of a number of agri-related projects in Galway last Thursday, Minister McConalogue said that as things stood, the major stumbling block to an agreement was the European Parliament.

“There are really two aspects of this deal which will be of vital importance to Irish farmers over the coming years – the flexibility to make our own decisions and the percentage of the funding to be spent on ECO schemes,” said Charlie McConalogue.

He said that while some progress had been made at the end of last month’s Trilogue negotiations [EU Commission, Council and European Parliament], it had not been possible to reach an agreement.

“As things stand, what’s blocking a final agreement is the European Parliament part of that Trilogue. We are trying to reach compromises on the issue of convergence, and the ECO scheme element of the payments, but this hasn’t been possible with the parliament so far,” said the Minister.

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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