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Use RSS scheme to help farmers in the repair of stone walls

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MILES of stone walls – one of the trademark sights of rural Connemara – have been flattened during the recent storms and farmers will need some assistance to restore them, Fianna Fáil Agricultural Spokesman, Éamon Ó Cuív, said this week.

He said that he would be contacting the Minister for Social Welfare, for an increase in placements in the Rural Social Scheme (RSS), to help farmers in getting their properties back to some sort of normality over the coming weeks.

“The Rural Social Scheme has done some wonderful work in the West of Ireland over recent years and now its members could be of great help to farmers trying to pick up the pieces after the series of Atlantic storms that have hit us over recent weeks,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He said that it shouldn’t be beyond the bounds of possibility for the Minster to sanction extra places on the scheme to help out with this work.

“As everyone out the country knows, rising stone walls is a very labour intensive task. Farmers though have no problem doing this as part of their normal maintenance work but they just cannot cope with the extent of the damage caused by the storms,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He added that as well as miles of walls being knocked, many fields close to the coastline were strewn with debris from stones and boulders to seaweed.

In addition to that, said Deputy Ó Cuív, there were also farmers along the coast who had lost land to the sea and who had to live with the loss of that.

Galway IFA Chairman, Michael Flynn, said that any assistance these farmers could get from the Council or the RSS would be most welcome in very difficult times.

“We would also expect that the Dept. of Agriculture would put a moratorium on all inspections over the coming weeks until farmers find their feet again,” said Michael Flynn.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in a statement issued last Friday, said that he wanted to reassure farmers that he and his Department would do everything to assist them at this time.

In relation to inspections in particular, Minister Coveney said his Department would take a common sense approach and farmers need not be worried or concerned on this front.

“For example, where there has been severe storm damage including damage to fences and grazing or large deposits of stone or debris farmers will not be penalised under Direct Payments schemes,” said the Minister.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Query over Department’s BVD Stats

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ALL may not be as the Dept. of Agriculture is painting it in relation to the prevalence of BVD in herds, according to a North Galway farmer who has contacted the Farming Tribune.

The farmer, from the Caltra area, who has a herd of 25 sucklers with no recent buy-ins, said that in the past year he had to have three calves put down due to BVD.

He said that while the Department of Agriculture were trying to paint a picture of BVD almost being eliminated from the national herd, this wasn’t the reality on the ground.

“This just isn’t the case on my farm – I now of other farmers who have lost animals due to BVD,” the farmer stated.

He said that he wanted to put the record straight as regards claims from Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, who had claimed that Ireland was now close to achieving ‘the goal of BVD freedom’.

BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhoea) was first recognised as a major disease problem in Irish herds when the first year of the BVD programme started.

According to the Minister for Agriculture, the incidence of the virus in tested animals stood at 0.66% while in 2022, this had dropped to 0.03%.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, said that while the overall national trend in the incidence of BVD was very encouraging, there could still be pockets of the disease in herds.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Angus breeders to hold charity auction of semen this weekend

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No shortage of bull at weekend charity online auction of Angus straws.

IT’S no cock-and-bull story as a novel auction this weekend hopes to raise thousands of euros . . . by selling semen.

Well over 100 lots of the semen – all generously donated by elite Aberdeen Angus bulls – will come under the hammer in the online auction.

The main organiser of the auction is Westmeath’s Colin Duffy of the renowned Kilgarvin Angus Herd with the help of other top breeders.

In total, 117 straws from 45 top Angus bulls will ‘come under the hammer’ in the auction which runs from 1pm on this Friday, Jan. 27 to 7pm on Monday, Jan. 30.

MartEye, the online marts’ sales service, along with Mid-Tipp Marts, will be the official host of the event which is set to benefit two very worthwhile charities.

All proceeds will go to the Irish Community Ambulance service – and Bumbleance, The Children’s National Ambulance Service.

Along with Kilgarvin Angus straws, Jim Dockery’s Towras; Michael Dullea’s Deelishs and Stuart McKeague’s Angus semen will be available to bid on over the weekend.

Also involved in the project is Catherina Cunnane, Editor of the ‘That’s Farming’ news website while AI (artificial insemination) companies are also supporting the charity fundraiser.

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

Sheep farmers facing a disaster

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IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey

THOUSANDS of sheep farmers across the western region are facing into a severe income crisis with lamb prices down by around €1 per kg, as compared to this time last year.

The drop in prices – which started to click in since mid-December – has also coincided with a steep rise in input costs, especially feed and ration over the past year.

Farm representatives have called on the factories to show ‘a responsible approach’ in trying to keep a floor on prices as the downward trend continues to bite through the first half of January.

IFA National Sheep Chair, Kevin Comiskey, said the Department’s Annual Review and Outlook 2022 had clearly set out the crisis facing sheep farms as market prices failed to reflect the higher production costs on farms.

Lamb quotes at the factories in mid-January have been coming in at around the €6.20/€6.30 (tops) per kg – this time last year the equivalent figure was €7.20/€7.30 per kg.

According to IFA representatives, demand for lamb at the meat plant seems ‘slow’ with a surplus of New Zealand lamb cited as one of the reasons for the lull in the market.

Galway IFA Chair, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, that on average, lamb prices were back by around €20 per head, as compared to this time last year.

He said that the sluggish market for lambs in Ireland was being mirrored in the UK, but French farmers were enjoying a buoyant trade with average prices of €8 per kg.

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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