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Tractor sales on increase in Galway

Francis Farragher

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Joe Whelan tractor

THE combination of good weather, a couple of lively years for the dairy sector and a general return in spending confidence, have been put forward as the main reasons for ‘a very good Spring’ in tractor and machinery sales, according to one of the region’s leading dealers.

According to Whelan’s of Loughrea – who have the Massey Ferguson dealership for the South and East Galway region – a general pick-up in sales through 2013 has continued on in the early part of this year.

The ‘mid-size’ tractors in the 100hp to 120hp range continue to be the big seller for farmers wanting an all purpose capable of carrying out a range of work on the farm, according to Padraig Murray, Stores Manager of Joe Whelan, Loughrea.

“After a very bad winter and spring weather-wise last year, the improvement in the second half of the year was also reflected in our sales growth.

“Good weather and good grass does improve the outlook of farmers and this year we’ve also had a pretty decent Spring – and that’s been a help too,” said Padraig Murray.

He said that dairy farmers after a couple of good years were also deciding to spend a bit of money in upgrading their tractors as they prepared for the more open market with the abolition of milk quotas from next year.

“There are concerns among beef prices over the prices being paid by the factories and a good cattle trade will always be good news for people involved in the tractor and machinery business.

“We’ve had a big increase in machinery sales such as mowers for silage while chainsaws and lawnmowers have sold very well.

“There is one thing about farmers. If they are doing okay and there’s a bit of money coming in, they will spend on upgrading their plant and machinery,” said Padraig Murray.

The local trend in tractor sales is also mirrored in the national figures for the first three months of this year. In the first quarter of 2014, 688 new tractors were registered as compared to 535 for the same period last year.

For example, new tractor sales in the Republic totalled 219 for the month of March this year as compared to 156 in March 2013 and 187 in March 2012.

Connacht Tribune

Don’t ignore Covid signs

Francis Farragher

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Pat Murphy: If you feel unwell, take it handy.

FARMERS who feel a bit ‘under-the-weather’ health wise these times – whether it be Covid related or with colds or flus – have been advised ‘to take things a bit handier’ if they can at all.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy – who last week revealed in the Farming Tribune that he was recovering from Covid – said that farmers ‘not feeling that well’ needed to take it easy for a few days and to contact their GP if they had any health concerns.

“I was probably one of the lucky ones, in terms of the symptoms that I had being not too severe, but everyone is not that lucky – and remember this is something that can happen to anyone.

“What I would advise is to get yourself checked out if you have any health concerns or don’t feel well – then ‘take it handy’ in terms of resting and cutting down on your workload.

“The other key thing – and especially so for farmers coming into the calving or lambing season – is to have a contingency plan in place just in case you do get sick.

“In all probability, this will involve talking to one or two of your neighbouring farmers, and working out an arrangement to help each other, in the event of one of the parties falling ill.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

New TAMS tranche must include farmers left out of previous applications

Francis Farragher

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TAMS: New tranche has been rolled out.

FARMERS seeking grant aid under TAMS (Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme), who had been turned down in previous applications, must now be included in the new tranche (21), confirmed last week by the Minister for Agriculture, according to IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins.

He said, that in the past, unsuccessful applicants had been carried forward to subsequent tranches, leaving them in ‘an uncertain situation concerning their investments’.

“All Tranche 20 applicants, including the applicants carried over from previous tranches, must receive approval without delay. IFA is urging the Minister to ensure that the delays in previous tranches are addressed.

“The problem of approvals will continue unless the carryover fixed. This issue must be rectified to avoid on-farm investment plans stalling,” said Michael Biggins.

Last week, Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, confirmed that from Saturday last, January 16, Tranche 21 of TAMS had reopened.

“TAMS  has been hugely successful to date with over €265m in grant aid paid out and I would encourage all existing applicants with approvals to submit their payment claims as soon as they are complete,” 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.

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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

Family member can’t build house on home farm

Dara Bradley

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AN attempt by a farmer’s daughter to build a modest one-off house on rural land on the outskirts of the city has been knocked back.

An Bórd Pleanála (ABP) upheld a decision by Galway City Council to refuse planning permission to build a family home in Briarhill, on a site five kilometres east of the city.

The applicant Amy Molloy had been refused planning permission by the City Council for a four-bedroom, two-storey, one-off house at her father’s site at Coolagh, which has been in the family for seven generations.

In the appeal to ABP, the applicant argued that the City Development Plan “was never envisaged to preclude the seventh generation of a family from obtaining planning permission on their own lands”.

She said that this proposed development was “the only opportunity . . . to secure a mortgage”.

It complied with the Development Plan and the Local Area Plan, and was in keeping with existing dwellings in the area, she argued.

“The blanket exclusion from granting one-off housing would be contrary to proper planning and would be an infringement on the constitutional property rights for the landowner. This is an exceptional case and should be treated as such,” the appeal read.

The site is currently zoned ‘A’ Agricultural, which allows for residential development where a convincing need is established by immediate family members of the owners of the site, residing in the immediate area.

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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