Agricultural News

Revving up for Christmas

Machinery fans don't have to wait long for the first significant machinery show of 2020, with the Lamma Show taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 7-8 in the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham....

How this 91-year-old woman is still helping run this successful Hereford herd

Gertrude Larkin (91) was born the year her father, Thomas Feighery, founded his pedigree Hereford herd at Kilcormac, Co Offaly, and from an early age, she took a keen interest in the livestock on the farm....

Lay of the Land: Lights on, lights off, lights out for Irish farming

So another year is ending, and as emigrants come home, and Christmas lights shine bright, other lights are being snuffed out, quietly, without fanfare, as more poor souls are live exported to Libya and Turkey. You can see them in footage taken by Ethical Farming Ireland at Kennedy Quay in Cork, stumbling across the transfer bridge into converted old car transporters....

How this dairy farmer is preparing for Christmas on his farm

The cows were housed fulltime on the last day of October, bringing to an end a very good grass growing season for 2019. I reckon cows were out grazing for about 255 days this year and in general there were no extremes of weathers....

November monsoons put a spanner in the works

It's amazing how small incidents which happen to us in our youth can stay with us for the rest of our lives. Such an incident happened to me when I was about 13. One day in school I was called out of class to be informed of the death of a favourite uncle of mine. Of course I was upset and on returning to the classroom, not wishing to disturb the class, I sat at a desk at the back of the classroom...

Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) payments start to issue

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today confirmed that payments under the 2019 Beef Exceptional Aid Measure (BEAM) have commenced to 32,444 farmers, to the value of some €75 million....

Netflix-inspired tools can reap rewards for farmers, says Nobel winner

What does online streaming giant Netflix have in common with smallholder farmers? Both can benefit from sharing data, according to one of this year's Nobel prize winners....

Norbrook says equipment issues a factor as profits slump by 82%

Veterinary pharma firm Norbrook Holdings has reported an 82% slump in pre-tax profits to £8m in a "challenging year" following an equipment breakdown....

Limerick Macra opening people's eyes with Sleep Out

Sleeping on the streets is a reality many people have to face over the Christmas period. In an effort to raise funds for the Mid West Simon Community to help the homeless, Limerick Macra na Feirme has been hosting a 'Sleep Out for Simon' event in December for the last number of years....

Ann Fitzgerald: 'Our initial enthusiasm for forestry programme has been felled'

Having written in August 2017 that we were buzzing at the prospect of planting some woodland under the Department's 2014-2020 forestry programme, I figure it's time to give an update....

Helen Harris: Flooded fields and and lumpy headlands a sorry sight as the winter crops struggle for survival

One of the lovely things about being a farmer is that you get to watch your crops grow. There is a great sense of achievement as a tiny green spike sticks its head up from the soil and then to follow its progress throughout the year. Then there is the satisfaction of harvest where you get to see the benefit of all that hard work....

Explainer: What does a Boris Johnson victory mean for Brexit - and Ireland?

Boris Johnson will now rapidly move forward with Brexit after securing a historic victory in the British general election....

Johnson to return as PM as Tories win big majority to 'get Brexit done'

Brexit has moved a step closer as Boris Johnson is set to be returned as UK prime minister with a significant Conservative Party majority....

Healy Rae company records profits of €444,227

The plant-hire company owned by outspoken independent Kerry TD and farmer, Danny Healy Rae last year recorded an 85% increase in post tax profits to €444,227....

Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies sets milk prices for November

Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies have set their prices for November milk....

Farming under the spotlight in EU's new Green Deal

The European Union's new executive launched a Green Deal policy package to tackle climate change on Wednesday, trumpeting it as the bloc's "man on the moon moment" - but fossil fuel-reliant eastern European states looked set to stall the initiative....

Don't let your heart rule your head when it comes to renting farmland

I am frequently asked many questions by farmers in the course of my work about the pros and cons of renting out land but I am seldom asked if renting in land is a good idea....

Strong bidding sees Meath farm sell for €13,000/ac

A 28ac parcel of ground with a derelict house at Ballinabarney, Longwood in Co Meath made a handsome €13,000/ac when it sold to a local farming family last week. The price was guided prior to auction at between €9,000 and €10,000/ac....

A silage test is the best money you will spend on feeding

As December begins things have come to a natural lull with the sheep flock. Lamb sales from the 2019 lamb crop are all but finalised, rams have been removed from the breeding ewes, and grazing is more or less complete on the sheep platform....

Farmer told time is ‘running out’ to clear land of 52 horses

A judge has told a west Clare farmer that “time runs out” for him in his efforts to clear his lands of his remaining 52 horses next February....

Factories ramp up trial slaughter runs for Chinese orders

Killing for China has been ramped up over the last fortnight, with trial slaughter runs taking place in a number of beef plants that were cleared for export to the Far Eastern market last month....

Factories' 5 cent price rise brings little festive cheer

Here we are two weeks from Christmas Eve 2019 and after months of farmer-led protests the beef barons give a miserly 5c/kg price rise....

Tipp agri companies announce tie-up

Dovea Genetics and Herdwatch have announced a strategic partnership which will see the two Tipperary-based outfits working more closely together....

Post 2020 CAP reform unlikely to be ready after 12 month extension - Creed

Post 2020 CAP reform is unlikely to be ready even after the 12 month extension period, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has said....

Shannonside holding guided at €700,000

Waterfront properties can be hard to come by and residential waterfront properties are quite rare. Roscommon auctioneer, John Earley is experiencing lively interest in a c45ac farm at Kilmore, Lecarrow, in Co Roscommon. The holding includes a relatively new bungalow, an old farm cottage with dated outbuildings and grazing land with extensive frontage on to the Shannon. The farm can be bought in a...

IFA block Dunnes Stores distribution centre in beef protest

The IFA is continuing its stream of recent beef price protests with a blockade taking place today at the Dunnes Stores depot in Cornelscourt Dublin....

Brazil's beef export hit record, prospects bright on China demand

Brazil is poised to break its own beef export record next year as it boosts trade ties with Asia, tries to enter the Japanese market for fresh beef and expands sales to Russia, an exporter group said on Tuesday....

Swine fever, plant protein to shape EU farming in next decade: report

The African Swine Fever crisis in China and a shift towards plant-based protein in diets could reshape EU agricultural markets over the next ten years, leading to fluctuating pork prices and higher cultivation of pulses and soybeans....

Pay farmers to farm less intensively in certain areas - Group Water Schemes

Parts of the country unable to take the inputs being applied to it, and a new scheme should be developed to pay farmers to farm these areas less intensively, the National Federation of Group Water Schemes (NFGWS) has said....

Jersey farmer dresses cows in Christmas jumpers to usher in festive spirit

A farmer in Jersey is embracing the Christmas spirit by dressing her dairy cows in festive jumpers....

Darragh McCullough: 'Christmas means one thing - it's time to channel my inner Del Boy and sell, sell, sell'

I channel my inner Del Boy at this time of year, trying to flog turkeys, Christmas trees, wreaths, flowers and veg boxes to all sorts of suspecting and unsuspecting characters....

Are we on the cusp of another agricultural revolution?

The world is on the cusp of an agricultural revolution that will totally transform the manner in which food is produced and consign animal-based farming to history within three decades....

Bird flu found at UK chicken farm

Cases of bird flu have been confirmed at a chicken farm in Suffolk, the Government has said....

'It's soul-destroying - the people who stole those sheep are farmers, that's the worst part

A sheep farmer, who had 32 lambs stolen from him earlier this year, says he is surprised that farmers are not taking matters into their own hands to fight rural crime....

Farmers' lives endangered by illegal deer poaching

The lives and livelihoods of farmers living close to forestry in East Clare are being put in danger because of widespread illegal deer poaching, writes Andrew Hamilton...

Farmer sleeps with loaded gun in his bedroom as crime leaves a community on the edge

After being the victim of crime twice in recent months, Westmeath farmer, Jimmy Brady, now sleeps with a loaded gun in his bedroom at night....

It’s an insult to farmers to see food discounted to unsustainable prices – IFA

It’s an insult to farmers to have quality product discounted down to unsustainable levels, in order to get foot fall through the shops to get footfall through the shops and build market share, the IFA has said....

'Only buy 'approved' meat' says FSAI following theft of carcasses in Northern Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) is warning businesses to only purchase meat from approved sources following the theft of a container with a consignment of beef carcasses from a Northern Ireland food business....

Brazil cattle feedlots grow amid environment pressure, efficiency drive

The use of feedlots to finish beef cattle will likely grow in Brazil, home to the world’s largest commercial cattle herd, a survey by Dutch animal nutrition and health company DSM showed on Monday....

Caroline O'Doherty: Coal companies cloud Government ban on smoky fuel

Strongly worded letters are usually the last resort of the desperate but in the case of three coal companies, it has proved an effective strategy....

Factories: More gains but we're still playing catch-up on lamb prices

Factory prices for both lamb and cull ewes moved up another notch yesterday with quotes for lamb rising by up to 10c/kg....

Gardai urge farmers to invest in technology to combat crime

Gardai are encouraging farmers to take precautions to make life tough for criminals....

Teagasc U-turn on dairy breeding advice as it recommends use of sexed semen

Teagasc has shifted its breeding advice for farmers ahead of the 2020 season, advocating the use of sexed semen, where possible, for breeding dairy replacements....

Why the first feed of colostrum is the most important meal of a cow's life

How quickly you feed a dairy heifer calf can result in a longer-living, more productive cow later in life, a recent dairy conference has heard....

Darragh McCullough's 9 steps to lower dairy emissions

The recent protests didn't get support from many farmers but that's not to say that farmers are not seriously pissed off....

Take 3: Plots of tillage land

A selection of three plots of tillage land currently on the market....

Demand for replacement dairy stock sees prices surge to €1,550 per head

The strong market for dairy replacements has continued into the back end of the year, with up to €1,550/hd being paid for top quality heifers in recent sales....

Wicklow dairy farm changes hands for €3.5m

While the auction rooms were unusually quiet in the latter part of the year, private treaty negotiations continued to rumble on with some larger holdings sold in late autumn....

Margaret Donnelly: Farmers are paying the ultimate price as consumers demand ever cheaper food

In the run-up to Christmas it becomes more important than ever to support Irish producers....

Cheddar exports to Britain on track for a 20-year high as Brexit stockpiling kicks in

Brexit stockpiling means cheddar exports to the UK are on track to be the highest for at least 20 years....

Positive signals from the marts as farmers sense a price recovery

Last week's mart trade was dominated, for a change, by a more positive tone....

'Mini-reform' of CAP on the table with green issues top of the agenda

A mini-reform of CAP is being sought by some MEPs as part of an agreement to roll-over the current regime....

Rivers suffering 'dramatic' decline as pollution and population grow

The country's rivers have suffered a dramatic decline in health in recent years with pollution and fish kills on the increase....

Environment watchdog calls for reduction in fertiliser usage

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has called for a reduction in nitrogen fertiliser usage by farmers to halt a significant decline in water quality....

Stolen farm machinery not an issue for us - DoneDeal

JUST a fraction of the farming classified ads on DoneDeal were reported to it as attempts to trade suspected stolen farm property....

No relief from tariffs on Irish dairy US trade Chief tells Government

US Trade Chief Robert Lighthizer has said there would be no early relief for Irish dairy processors from tariffs imposed by the United States in October as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies....

Farmers shut down Tesco hub as beef price battle continues

IFA this morning blockaded the Tesco central distribution centre in Donabate, Co Dublin as part of its campaign for an increase in beef prices....

Contract rearing dairy replacements - A Teagasc advisors perspective

With falling beef prices and the continued dark cloud around Brexit, there is considerable interest among beef farmers in earning extra money by taking in dairy heifers or even bull/beef calves from dairy herds....

Factories ramp up kill for Chinese market

Killing for China has been ramped up over the last fortnight, with trial slaughter runs taking place in a number of beef plants that were cleared for export to the Far Eastern market last month....

High winds, falling trees and homes hit by power cuts as storm blows in

Motorists are being urged to travel with great caution after "extremely dangerous" gusts in excess of 130kmh swept across the country....

Energia buys Meath solar farm projects in green push

Irish energy provider and infrastructure investor Energia Group has acquired solar energy developer Solar Farmers Ltd which has two solar projects in Meath....

Waterford firm strikes €135m US distilling deal

Waterford-based Specialist Nutrition has secured a five-year deal worth €135m to supply by-products from a US ethanol plant as sustainable feed to farmers in New York....

Mary O'Rourke: 'We'll all regret it forever if we don't help our small farmers'

I was in Dublin on the day of the recent farmers' blockade, but nowhere near the protest itself. However, I found myself in strange sympathy with the group of independent farmers who knew that their livelihoods were slipping away from them, and that something had to be done to bring their dilemmas to the forefront of Irish life....

Autumn rains and winter chills take toll on grass growth in the north-west

Farming in the north-west since October has been difficult because of wet underfoot conditions, while the mean air temperature in November of 7C at the Met Eireann weather station in Malin Head was 1.2C below the long-term mean....

It's not all gloom and doom on autumn crops despite the relentless downpours

The 2019 autumn sowing season won't be forgotten for a long time by growers and is likely to be used as a yardstick for many years to come whenever we get a wet spell in the autumn and need to make ourselves feel better....

'I worked in the mart from the age of six and it gave me a grá for the business of agriculture'

He's the CEO of a company with a £250m (€293m) turnover, but Devenish boss and 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Richard Kennedy experienced failure before taking his first tentative steps on the road to success....

Learning to focus on what I can control within the farm gate

They say every year in farming is different and throws up different dynamics that create different debates and challenges....

Ciaran Moran: IFA needs to be careful it doesn’t win a battle but lose the war

For the last two days, the IFA has led farmer protests outside Aldi and Lidl distribution points and the Association says it will continue to protest until beef farmers get a significant price increase. But there’s possibly more to this protest than first meets the eye....

Germany ups anti-swine fever measures after case close to border

Germany said on Friday it was stepping up measures to prevent an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) after a case was discovered in a wild boar in Poland, 40 km (25 miles) from the border between the two countries....

Goodman beef group confirms beef price rise

ABP the beef processing group has confirmed the beef price it pays to farmers will rise on Monday....

'Stunt': IFA faces criticism over protests

In a turn up for the books, IFA's blockade of ALDI's distribution centre yesterday drew criticism from both the Beef Plan Movement and Meat Industry Ireland....

Peninsular farming: 94ac and 30ac West Cork farms hit the market

A lovely peninsular farm surrounded on three sides by the River Bandon has come on the market at Peafield, Ballinadee, 20 minutes from Bandon in West Cork. The 94ac residential holding comes with a substantial house and yard, €6,500 in annual payments and is guided at between €1.1m and €1.2m....

We're weighing up a switch to compact calving

All stock has now been housed and the autumn calving is finished bar one cow holding up the show....

Laois super-cow first European-bred cow to receive top world Simmental title

Laois-bred five-year-old heifer Clonagh Darling Eyes has become the first European-bred cow to receive the Miss World Simmental title....

Smurfit stumps up €2m in fresh round of funding for Moocall

MOOCALL, an Irish company that developed a calving sensor alert, has received an additional €3.6m in funding from its backers....

One in three TDs have second job or another income outside Dáil

At least a third of TDs have second jobs or other sources of income apart from their Dáil salary and allowances, the Irish Independent can reveal....

Farmers ramp up protests with new blockade in Cork

Farmers are blockading another retail distribution centre today as they step up protests over beef prices....

Brazil agriculture sees 3% growth in 2020 led by meat exports

Brazilian agricultural production will grow 3% in 2020, three times faster than this year, driven by rapidly expanding meat exports and another record grain harvest in the 2019/2020 season, the CNA farm lobby said on Wednesday....

NZ's Fonterra raises 2019/20 forecast farmgate milk price

Dairy behemoth Fonterra on Thursday raised its forecast milk payment to farmers for the 2019-2020 season as it sees strong global demand....

Up to 130 trucks prevented from entering or leaving distribution centre due to blockades by protesting farmers

Up to 130 lorries have been prevented from leaving and entering major distribution centre in County Kildare this morning due to blockades by protesting farmers....

Farmer on taking the organic route to the customer

In December many farmers take stock and plan for the incoming year. Continued pressure on the prices paid to primary producers remains one of the burning issues for everyone along the food chain from processors to retailers and consumers....

Ann Fitzgerald: 'What has online shopping ever done for your community?'

'What would you like for Christmas, honey?" I asked the farmer one morning last week when he came into the kitchen as I was stirring a pot of soup....

Calving camera can predict when a cow is going to calve

Every farmer would love eyes at the back of their head, especially during calving season. While suckler farmer's son Ciaran Feeney isn't able to perform bodily miracles, his newly developed calving solution Herdeye, could be the next best thing for farmers....

Winter-proof sprayers for a head start next spring

Have you got your sprayer ready to withstand winter conditions? We've had a few very cold nights already, and this time of year really takes its toll on sprayers by causing hoses and valves to crack. Proper maintenance and winter storage technique will be worthwhile come next spring when the sprayer is needed again....

Garda air patrols to prevent crime gangs stealing Christmas trees

Gardaí have confirmed that air patrols are being deployed at night to prevent raids by criminal gangs on some of the country's remotest Christmas tree farms....

€1.5m sliced off the asking price for Déise castle with 135ac working farm

Rocketts Castle, on 250ac at Portlaw in Waterford, has been on the market for some time and is now being quoted by Savills at a reduced price of €3.25m, down from €4.75m....

Factories under pressure over beef prices at first Taskforce meeting

Beef processors came under pressure from farm organisations to raise cattle prices at the first meeting of the Beef Taskforce today....

Animal cruelty case against Camolin farmer is dismissed

AN animal welfare case brought against a Camolin famer was dismissed after a lengthy hearing at Gorey District Court....

Research highlights 'massive profiteering' on beef - ICSA

The ICSA claims that fresh analysis it conducted reveals the scale of the margins being made by processors and retailers on heifers destined for the supermarket shelf - the mark-up for an animal's meat is well over 100pc on what the farmer receives at the farm gate....

Margaret Donnelly: 'It's time for the government to make forestry attractive for all farmers'

Our national forestry programme needs a radical overhaul if it's to attract a broad cross-section of farmers to plant....

'Bring in fees to halt hike in forestry objections' says new report

Fees for lodging appeals against forestry planting approvals should be introduced as a matter of urgency, a Government review has recommended....

'Bull' Hayes weighs into fight against isolation

Rugby legend John 'Bull' Hayes has appealed to farmers to join an organisation if they are feeling isolated in rural areas....

The 'mighty' men of farming dig deep as mart prices rally by up to €50/head

The price rally that began in early November with the entry into the market of those who had waited to see how or if Brexit affected the market continued last week....

Dairy bull calves being killed with 'lump hammers' and plastic bags' claims former TD

Dairy bull calves are being killed with plastic bags and lump hammers by farmers looking to avoid the costs of rearing the unwanted animals, a former TD has claimed....

Martin Coughlan: Why isn't the global beef price surge trickling down to our farmers?

This time last week there was great scepticism among many in the farming community as to whether the farmer protest that had just kicked off in Dublin was a good idea....

Climate change demands could see return of milk quotas by the 'back door'

Dairy quotas could return by the "back door" in the shape of environmental regulations, the head of Teagasc has warned....

'We're asking for fair play - big business is beating us down'

Farmers protesting in Dublin tell Claire Fox why they have taken to the streets....

Farm plastics piling up as China shuts doors

A COLLAPSE in the export of waste to China has seen "gigantic piles" of farm plastics build up in several locations around the country, with the situation worsening daily....

Henry Walsh: Labour shortages shaping up to be a big issue for next spring's calving season

How the year slips by. Already we are assembling the figures for 2019. Our cows are winding down for a well earned rest after a long and productive lactation....

Factories: Chinese demand drives lamb prices up

"We're told there are a lot of sheep gone out of the UK because of Brexit. If that's true prospects have to look good," Jim Bushe of New Ross mart said after his sale yesterday....

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