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Tractor sales on increase in Galway

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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

Galway tops suckler cow applications’ league table

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Micheál Haverty: SCEP scheme is a vital support.

THE fact that over 20,000 farmers have applied for inclusion in the new suckler cow scheme is a positive indication for a farming sector that’s considered to be one of the main bedrocks of agriculture in the West of Ireland, according to Galway’s IFA Livestock representative, Micheál Haverty.

He said that since 2018, there had been a 12% to 14% decrease in Irish suckler cow numbers across the county mainly due to the tight margins and the labour intensive nature of  in the enterprise.

“The fact that over 20,000 farmers have applied for inclusion in the new SCEP scheme is a step in the right direction. Without a viable suckler cow sector across the country, and especially in the West of Ireland, the viability of the country’s multi-billion euro beef sector would be in doubt,” Micheál Haverty told the Farming Tribune.

He also called for no time lag to follow with the introduction of the new BEEP-S scheme which would be an additional financial supplement to the SCEP payments. “The Minister [Charlie McConalogue] has committed to introducing the new BEEP-S scheme as quickly as possible – we are expecting confirmation of this over the next week or two,” said Micheál Haverty.

Galway tops the county ‘league table’ in terms of SCEP (Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme) applications (which closed on May 22 last) with 2,428 farmers from the county applying, followed by Mayo on 1,886, Clare on 1,791, Cork (1,537), Roscommon (1,196), Donegal (1,067) and Kerry (1,050).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Adding value to life on Galway’s social farm

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Ballinasloe man Patrick McDermott makes sure the Murray Meadows donkeys are well cared for and have plenty of hay.

Galway farmer Blátnaid Gallagher knows first-hand how open space and being around animals can help someone’s sense of well-being.

The former member of the Defence Forces recalls how, as a young girl growing up in Renmore, Galway City, regular visits to her uncle’s farm offered its own kind of therapy.

“Nothing compared to spending time on the farm,” said Blátnaid. “Breathing in the fresh air after being let loose in the fields, being surrounded by animals . . . and getting up to all kinds of divilment,” she laughed.

From an early age, Blátnaid appreciated the land and formed a lasting connection to nature.

Blátnaid and her husband Niall inherited her uncle PJ Murray’s 100-acre farm in 2016.

Nestled in the rolling hills of Killoran, Co Galway, near the historical village of Aughrim in East Galway, Murray Meadows is a family-run farm transitioning to organic farming – home to geese, hens, ponies, donkeys and Blátnaid’s flock of pedigree Galway sheep, producing organic lamb and Galway wool.

Since last year, Blátnaid and Niall have been diversifying into social farming – proving a fruitful collaboration with Social Farming Ireland (SFI).

Social farming is a service delivered by farmers as an innovative use of agriculture to promote therapy, rehabilitation, social inclusion, education and social services in rural areas.

The service allows people with challenges to engage in everyday activities on ordinary working farms in their local community.

Blátnaid explained that social farming provides a structure around a working day that people may not have had the chance to experience elsewhere.

“Opening up the farm was a no-brainer,” said Blátnaid. “On a farm, you get to connect with nature and animals. It’s a wonderful place to be.

“I describe it as the best prescription to increase self-esteem and improve health and well-being.”

An open day on Blátnaid’s farm, held earlier this week, offered an opportunity to showcase what social farming is all about.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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

East Galway farm sells for €1.3 million

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Auctioneer Niamh Madden with Shane and Maura Morkham, who purchased the 106.68 acres of farmland at Fahy, Eyrecourt. Photo: Gerry Stronge.

A SUBSTANTIAL holding of land in east Galway – described as one of the finest to come to the market in recent years – has been sold after auction for almost €12,200 an acre.

The holding, extending to almost 107 acres at Carrownafinnoge, Fahy, Eyrecourt, went under the hammer but actually wasn’t sold in the auction room.

However, following behind the scenes negotiations involving auctioneer Niamh Madden of Sherry FitzGerald Madden in Loughrea and two interested parties, the guide price of €1.3 million was eventually achieved.

The main block of just over 101 acres was purchased by purchased by former rugby player and successful dairy farmer Shane Morkham who had been leasing the land for years.

The smaller portion of 5.3 acres, just a couple of hundred yards away, was acquired by another local dairy farmer following the intense negotiations.

Auctioneer Niamh Madden told Farming Tribune that there was always good demand for quality agricultural land and she described this holding as “one of the finest” in east Galway.

“In the lead-up to the auction, we had a considerable number of inquiries but the two individuals who acquired the property know it well having grazed the lands for years.

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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