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Uptake still low for beef schemes among farmers

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Michael Flynn . . . More live exports needed.

SUCKLER farmers in the 2013 Beef Data Programme should have received payments from last week, according to Agriculture Minister, Simon Coveney – however farm leaders that ‘red tape and low levels of payment’ had stymied interest in the scheme.

Last week, Minister Coveney said that the Beef Data Programme payments to 26,000 suckler farmers across the country had started to issue from last week, using €10 million in ‘unused funds’ from the Single Farm Payment Scheme (SPS).

The Minister also said that a further €10m allocation of unused SPS funding would be used for animals born during 2014 while another €23m was being provided in the 2014 Beef Genomics Scheme (BGS).

Minister Coveney said that the suckler herd was the’ seed bed’ for a quality beef industry involving more than 100,000 farm families, employing almost 8,000 people in processing, sales and marketing, and driving exports valued at approximately €1.8 billion per annum.

“The Beef Data Programme in conjunction with the Beef Genomics Scheme increases the breeding data available and harnesses technology in a way that improves efficiency and ultimately profitability at farm level.

“I am convinced that the combination of these and other measures will make a major contribution to the expansion of beef output and greater market penetration,” said Minister Coveney.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

January brought us a wet start but a very dry ending

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Brendan Geraghty: A great finish to January!

TO borrow from the old match cliché, January – from a weather viewpoint – was a real month of two halves.

We took a serious pounding of rain through the first half   – the second half was very dry  – and during the interval we got a cold snap for four or five days.

As the middle of the month approached there was a real threat of flood conditions developing with land saturated and rivers swollen.

In the end, January 2023, proved to be a pretty average month in terms of rainfall and temperatures.

The Athenry Met Éireann station recorded 113.9mms (4.5 inches) of rainfall for January – just slightly under the long-term average (LTA) for the month of 116.7mms.

That station recorded a particularly wet four days – January 10 to 13 – when over two-and-a-half inches (66.8mms) of rain fell.

At that point, the very real spectre of flooding had reared its head with rivers bursting their banks in many places; a lot of land waterlogged; and lakes at capacity levels.

However, a cold snap associated with an area of high pressure – that lasted from January 15 to 20 – heralded an extremely dry period of weather that has now carried on through the first weeks of February.

The lowest temperature of the month in Athenry was recorded on Tuesday, January 17, when the mercury dropped to –6°C.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Concerns with new suckler scheme

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Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy

EXCESSIVE paperwork and unreasonable conditions could put off a cohort of farmers from joining the new suckler cow scheme which starts this year, a farm leader has warned this week.

Connacht IFA Chair, Pat Murphy, told the Farming Tribune that he didn’t see the reasoning behind applicants having to be in the Bord Bia Quality Assurance in order to qualify.

“The vast majority of suckler farmers sell off their weanlings on an annual basis and we just don’t see the necessity of making them join the Quality Assurance Scheme.

“Really, this is just adding on an extra layer of unnecessary paperwork on farmers who operate a very straightforward system in terms of selling off their weanlings every year,” said Pat Murphy.

The Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) replaces the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) with the application process set to commence in the middle of next month (March), with the closing date likely to be in mid-May. It will run for five years – 2023 to 2027.

Existing suckler farmers will be presented with their suckler calving data by the Dept. of Agriculture from 2016 to 2021 inclusive with the ‘best three years’ taken as the average for the reference figure.

The payment rate will be €225 per hectare for the first 15 hectares and €180/ha for the next 25/ha, giving a maximum annual payment figure of €7,875.

According to Pat Murphy, while no farmer would want to miss out on an income stream in what is already a low-return enterprise, he could see some people turning away from applying because of the paperwork and record keeping involved.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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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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Farmers are advised to get early advice on 2023 Nitrates Derogation requirements

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Tighter limits in latest Nitrates Derogation requirements. Photo: Courtesy of Teagasc.

MORE intensively stocked farmers – the vast majority of them in the dairy sector – have been advised by the Minister for Agriculture to ‘engage as soon as possible’ with the Nitrates Derogation application process.

Charlie McConalogue also advised dairy farmers who previously did not avail of the derogation to consult with their agricultural advisors – given the new excretion rate bands applicable to dairy cows since January 1, 2023.

The Minister added that the Nitrates Derogation provided farmers with an opportunity to farm at higher stocking rates without compromising water quality.

“The Nitrates Derogation is subject to certain strict conditions designed to protect the environment and meet the requirements of the Nitrates Directive.”

“All farmers have an important role to play in protecting our environment, particularly those farming more intensively.

“It is crucial that we protect and restore our waters as soon as possible to maintain the Nitrates Derogation at current levels into the future.

“Water quality is crucial to a healthy environment and farmers are keen to drive further improvements here,” said the Minister.

The Dept. of Agriculture has outlined the three bands applicable for dairy cows: 80kg N/cow; 92 kg N/cow; and 106 kg N/cow per year.  Previously, all dairy cows were considered equal in terms of a nutrient excretion rate at 89kg N/cow per year.

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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