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Wicked May left farmers grouchy

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Saorla Gallagher, with her puppy at the Tesco Charity Dog Show in aid of Temple Street Children's Hospital held in Ballinasloe on Sunday. PHOTO: HANY MARZOUK.

IF, as a farmer, you felt a little grouchy over the weather last month, well you had good reason to be . . . as we all endured one of our wettest, coldest and dullest months for years.

It’s only this week that farmers are ‘getting into the run of the summer and the silage season’ as we are getting our best spell of weather since last April – May though was horribly cold and wet too.

Temperatures in Galway were roughly 1.3° Celsius lower than the normal for the month while rainfall of 128.4mms. (over five inches) at the NUI Galway Weather Station, gave us our wettest May since 2009.

The average May temperature recorded at the NUI Galway Automatic Weather Station was 10.1°C – that’s 1.3 degrees below the average for the fifth month of the year in Galway as recorded in Frank Gaffney’s Climate of Galway records.

According to those records the month just gone by was our coldest May since 1996 and our third coldest on record since 1978.

It was a very poor month for grass growth with soil temperatures across most of the West of Ireland again slipping under the 12° Celsius mark – the figure needed for optimum summer growth.

Some dairy farmers had to house their cows during some of the colder and wetter spells in May with milk yields also impacted on.

Galway IFA Dairy Chairman, Charlie Whiriskey, said that farmers on heavier lands were most affected by the poor conditions through May.

“It was a cold and wet month with poor enough growth. The proof is just not there either in the wet grass – we’re all hoping for a bit of a lift through June,” said Charlie Whiriskey.

Although June started on a wicked enough note – with the winds, rain and cold of the Bank Holiday Monday (June 1) – our first decent spell of high pressure has arrived this week, facilitating many first cuts of silage.

Contractors though have reported early cuts of silage to be ‘light enough’, again impacted on by the cold soil conditions that lasted all through May.

To cap off the awful May we had, Met. Éireann also reported that it was also our dullest for many years – Knock Airport in Mayo had its cloudiest fifth month since the weather station opened there in 1996.

Abbeyknockmoy weather recorder, Brendan Geraghty, had his wettest May since 2009 with 4.71 inches of rainfall, nearly double that of the April total.

The three wettest days of the month, he recorded, were the 4th (1.05 inches); the 10th (0.65 inches) and the 2nd (0.59 inches).

“It really was a pretty miserable month. It was wet, cold and dull – there was hardly any growth either, so it wasn’t a good month for the gardener or the farmer.

“I suppose if we have one memory from the month, it’s that of seeing people outdoors, wearing their jackets, caps and gloves. It was a miserable May,” said Brendan Geraghty.

Connacht Tribune

Locals thanked for demo backing

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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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Connacht Tribune

Athenry’s action day a wake-up call for the West

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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’

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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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