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Things to do when the land is dark

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Winter housing: already a reality for some farmers and on the way for the rest.

BY ANTHONY O’CONNOR

“WHEN the night has come, and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light you will see,” from the song Stand By Me by John Lennon, is an apt theme for early November with the time changing, the shortening days and the darkness descending earlier – it is a time to prepare land, livestock and farmyards for the winter.

Grassland

The 2017 grazing season starts now. Every day you extend the grazing season is a bonus. However, with grass rapidly dwindling, don’t let stock lose condition by leaving out too long. Avoid poaching of fields. Aim to have most stock housed by late November.

Fields closed in late November will not have a supply of grass available until late March or early April. Supplement stock at grass with concentrates where necessary. Graze paddocks down to 4cm and close. Weanlings, cull ewes etc can graze out paddocks. House heaviest stock first, i.e. dry suckler cows, unfinished beef cattle.

Lime: Apply any lime required on the basis of a soil test now, while weather and ground conditions allow. Lime will unlock any NPK in soil, making them available for plant growth.

New Leys: If ground conditions are favourable, a light grazing of reseeded pasture by stocksuch as weanlings/sheep can be undertaken. This will encourage tillering of the new sward overthe winter months. Ensure no poaching or overgrazing occurs.

Beef

Grass tetany: Suckler cows with late-born suckling calves can be left out until late November if they have good grass. These cows should have access to Magnesium licks to prevent grass tetany occurring.

Replacement heifers: Post weaning thrive needs to be maintained in selected replacements. They are the future of your herd. ADG (average daily gain) should be between 0.7 to 0.9kg per head/day. Continue to feed 1.0 to 2.0kgs per head/day of concentrates post weaning.   Your home bred or purchased heifers which need to be well developed and robust at mating time next year (weighing at least 370 to 430kg depending on heifer breed), while calving down at a minimum age of two years. If involved in the BDGP, these replacements should have a 4 or 5 star rating on the ICBF Eurostar Replacement Index.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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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