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Minister needs to act now on fodder crisis – Fitzmaurice



Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice is calling on Minister Creed to act immediately in helping farmers through the fodder crisis.

  “Since the round table talks with the farming organisations at the beginning of December no progress on delivering an aid package for transport or a meal voucher has been made. Currently it would appear the Minister is hoping the issue will resolve itself or maybe he is still of the opinion that there isn’t a fodder crisis in the west and northwest.

  “What the Minister needs to do now is implement a transport subsidy for bales whether that is hay, silage or straw. This would help reduce the cost of fodder arriving in western areas which is at an all time high. This subsidy which could be paid through the Co-ops or recognised suppliers of hay or straw can be up and running by the end of this month as the template is there from the 2013 fodder crisis,” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.

  The Independent TD added explained that a transport subsidy would enable fodder to be delivered from southern counties to the west of Ireland.

  “From what we are hearing there are still fodder supplies in southern areas especially silage. This is why a transport subsidy can help deliver reasonably priced fodder to hard pressed farmers in western areas. However, I would also hope that those with excess fodder would show solidarity and not take advantage of their fellow farmers with unreasonable price hikes,” he concluded.

Local Improvement Scheme deadline looms



Cllr Ivan Connaughton has called on interested parties to submit applications to Roscommon County Council by January 31st for construction or improvements to non-public roads that: provide access to at least two parcels of land, are owned or occupied by different persons engaged in separate agricultural activities, provide access for the harvesting of turf on a non-commercial basis for two or more persons or are roadways deemed to be used by the public in the opinion of Roscommon County Council.

  Cllr Connaughton said: “This scheme is primarily for access to agricultural activities and a grant of between 80-90% is available to successful applications. All property owners who would benefit from such a scheme must sign the application and overall it’s very straight forward.

  “Following on from my proposal at a recent meeting of Roscommon County Council, I received unanimous support to open up applications for Local Improvement Schemes in 2018 and following years. In 2017, two allocations were received by Roscommon County Council, with a previous LIS list dating back to 2012 being used. I deemed this unfair and thankfully opening up applications will allow new schemes to apply and have a chance of being successful when more allocations come from Minister Ring’s department.  

  “While the allocations in the last quarter of 2017 are to be welcomed, the timing was not ideal. The timeframe to carry out the works before year end together with the poor weather conditions will result in the life span of the works carried out being substantially reduced.

  “I have a notice of motion put forward for our January meeting seeking the department to make allocations for 2018 in the coming months to allow successful schemes carry out the construction or improvement works on their road during the summer months. I will be seeking support for my motion from my fellow councillors.

  “Anyone seeking further information on the scheme or an application form can contact me on 090-6663700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alternatively, you can contact your local councillor who will have the information,” he concluded.

Sheep welfare and Census applications


IFA National Sheep Committee Chairman John Lynskey said the Department of Agriculture has confirmed to IFA that the Sheep Welfare Scheme application for the €10 per ewe payment for 2018 will be sent out to farmers early in the New Year with a closing date of February 2nd 2018.

  He said: “The application form is very straightforward and farmers in the scheme will only be required to confirm that they wish to continue to participate in year 2. The application and declaration can also be completed on line at www.agfood.ie”.

  John Lynskey said IFA lobbied hard to secure €25m funding for the Sheep Welfare Scheme, which delivered €10 per ewe payment to sheep farmers.

  He said: “To date this year 20,986 sheep farmers have been paid €16m under the scheme, through an 85% payment advance. The remaining 15% payment will be made in early 2018”.

New entrants

Mr Lynskey said the Department of Agriculture has clarified that the scheme will also be open to new entrants in 2018.

  “A new entrant to this scheme is defined as an applicant who has applied for a new herd number from 1st January 2017 and prior to the 31st of December 2017, or an applicant with an existing herd number who has not held or traded in sheep for a two year period up to 31st October preceding the scheme year”.

  The Department also clarified that, based on the EU Rural Development regulation, it is not possible to reopen the scheme in 2018 for those who were in sheep over the last few years but did not apply in Year 1.

  In addition, the chairman said the Department has confirmed that the reference number for farmers in the scheme will remain as when they entered the scheme. He said the only scope for increasing numbers in the scheme is on foot of a GLAS commonage plan.

Sheep Census

Mr Lynskey said that the 2017 sheep census forms have been sent out to sheep farmers in recent days. He said the census will be undertaken on Sunday 31st December 2017 and the closing date for submitting forms is Wednesday 31st January. For farmers who complete the Census forms online the closing date is extended to February 14th 2018.

  The IFA sheep farmer leader added: “It is essential that all sheep farmers give both the Sheep Welfare Scheme application form and the Sheep Census form the attention they deserve and ensure that they are completed accurately and returned on time within the deadlines set down. Farmers posting the forms should get proof of postage by means of a registered post receipt”.

  Mr Lynskey said the Teagasc Clean Sheep Policy guide is included with the Sheep Census forms and should be carefully studied by all sheep farmers.



ICSA: Farmers must unite to tackle rural crime


The president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association believes farmers looking out for each other is the best way to try to tackle rural crime.

  Several farmers in this region have suffered from brazen thefts over the past 12 months, with gardaí urging owners of any machinery to make sure it is marked to make it harder to sell on if stolen.

  Pat Keating, who was recently appointed as president for his third two-year term, believes gardaí “can only do so much”, especially in rural areas across Roscommon, Longford and Leitrim.

IFA sets up Emergency Fodder Initiative


John Hanley, Roscommon IFA County Chairman said IFA have set up an emergency fodder initiative, where IFA will mobilise its national county and branch network to support those farmers in most difficulty. 

  Counties have been twinned with a view to identifying farmers who are in a position to contribute feed, to be transported to areas in need.

  Mr Hanley said: “It is disappointing that the Minister has to date failed to support a meal voucher system which we strongly believe would have been the best and most efficient solution. We are now seeking a commitment from the Minister to fund the cost of transporting the fodder to the areas in need as part of this interim initiative”.

  Mr Hanley said the initiative is designed to provide fodder for those in dire need in the coming weeks.

  County Chairmen and branch officers in areas of the country not affected to the same extent with the fodder crisis will identify farmers who are prepared to provide even small amounts of feed at a reasonable agreed fixed price.

  The county chairmen in the affected counties met with Minister Creed and attended the recent fodder action meeting in Sligo, but there has yet to be a tangible outcome to these meetings. 

  Mr Hanley said Roscommon IFA Officers are working closely with Teagasc and the local DVO to identify the farmers currently in critical need of fodder.


Kenny raises farming issues with Commissioner Phil Hogan


Last week Deputy Martin Kenny was part of a delegation from the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee who went to the European Parliament and met with groups and MEPs about issues affecting agriculture including the Brexit crisis, the Mercosur trade deal and proposed changes to the Common Agriculture Policy. 

  One of the main meetings was with the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan in his offices in Brussels.

  Deputy Kenny said: “This week we had an engagement with EU Commissioner Phil Hogan on several issues which are vital to Irish farmers, including his recent CAP reform proposals and the Mercosur proposals to take thousands of tonnes of South American beef into the EU and of course the ongoing Brexit uncertainty”.


Roscommon People Mart Watch - December 22nd


Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart

“There were small numbers on offer for the final sale of bullocks, heifers and dry cows held on Friday last. There was a brisk trade all-round with a 100% clearance of lots. Prices for bullocks ranged from an average of €2.11 up to €2.50 per kilo, while heifers averaged from €2.01 per kilo up to €2.52 per kilo. There were good number of dry cows on offer with prices fetching from €1.61 per kilo up to €2.26 per kilo.

  “Dry cows made from €710 to €1580 per lot, heifers made from €310 to €715 over, bullocks made from €310 to €955 over.

  “Opening sale in the New Year – Friday, January 12th for bullocks, heifers and dry cows. 

  “Thank you for your custom in 2017 and we look forward to your continued support in 2018. Wishing all our customers, shareholders and friends a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year”.

Roscommon Mart sample prices

Dry cows

Char 700kgs €1580, Lim X 710kgs €1380, AAX 815kgs €1370, Char X 745kgs €1305, Lim X 610kgs €1300, Lim X 610kgs €1300, Char X 660kgs €900, AAX 560kgs €815, Lim X 555kgs €710, SHX 675kgs €1080, Lim X 640kgs €1240, BBX 705kgs €1050, BBX 605kgs €1035.


Char X 590kgs €1300, Char X 575kgs €1275, Char X 500kgs €1215, Lim X 520kgs €1210, Lim X 540kgs €1200, Lim X 500kgs €1185, BBX 515kgs €1105, BBX 475kgs €1130, 2 AAX 460kgs €900, 3 Lim X 448kgs €870, AAX 425kgs €800, HEX 435kgs €800, BBX 470kgs €1000, Char X 455kgs €1145.


Fr 470kgs €780, Lim X 740kgs €1685, Char X 720kgs €1650, Char X 635kgs €1590, Char X 615kgs €1505, Char X 540kgs €1300, Lim X 605kgs €1240, Lim X 520kgs €1200, Fr 585kgs €1070, 2 Lim X 435kgs €980, FRX 545kgs €930.


Officers elected at Ploughing AGM


The Roscommon Ploughing Association AGM took place recently and the following officers were elected for 2018: Christy Neilan, president; Tom Tighe, chairperson; Mary Conry Candler, secretary; Joe Fitzmaurice, treasurer; John Hanley, PRO; Joe Kelly, safety officer; Tom Aimes, trade stands; Padraig Nolan, National Ploughing Association representative; Pat Naughton, chief steward.

  The Roscommon Ploughing Association would like to wish a Happy Christmas and New Year to all members, sponsors and supporters.


Roscommon People Mart Watch - December 16th


Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart


“There were large numbers on offer at the annual “Christmas Cracker” sale for bullocks and heifers. There was a flying trade for bullocks with prices ranging from €2.30 per kilo up to €2.92 per kilo. There was a firm trade for all classes. There was a cracking trade for heifers with prices averaging from €2.31 per kilo up to €3.14 per kilo.  Dry cows made from €650 to €1380 per lot. Heifers made from €380 to €1135 over. Bullocks made from €395 to €1070 over.

  “Once again this week there was a good number of dry cows on offer with lots averaging from €1.61 per kilo up to €2.13 per kilo. The final sale for 2017 will take place tomorrow (Friday 15th) for bullocks, heifers and dry cows. 

  “Thank you for your custom in 2017 and we look forward to your continued support in 2018. Wishing all our customers, shareholders and friends a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.”


Roscommon Mart sample prices

Dry Cows

Lim X 670kgs €1380, Char 795kgs €1360, Char 705kgs €1355, Lim x 735kgs €1345, BBX 640kgs €1300, Sh 755kgs €1255, AAX 635kgs €1050, Simm 565kgs €920, Simm X 600kgs €850, HEX 600kgs €760, Lim X 640kgs €1055, Char X 515kgs €1095, Char X 495kgs €900, Lim X 570kgs €1020.


Char X 655kgs €1790, Char X 635kgs €1740, Lim x 635kgs €1690, 2 Lim X 627kgs €1465, Char X 580kgs €1430, 3 Lim X 566kgs €1335, BBX 540kgs €1300, 2 Char X 500kgs €1270, Lim X 505kgs €1245, AAX 535kgs €1230, HEX 595kgs €1145, 2 Char X 440kgs €1125, BBX 485kgs €1140, Char X 420kgs €1060, Char X 345kgs €850, Char X 385kgs €900, Lim X 405kgs €950.


Char X 790kgs €1790, Char 710kgs €1780, Char X 575kgs €1590, BAX 640kgs €1505, Lim X 585kgs €1390, AAX 700kgs €1385, Char 580kgs €1380, 2 Char X 485kgs €1360, Char X 550kgs €1300, AAX 550kgs €1265, 4 Char X 465kgs €1240, Lim X 435kgs €1225, Lim X 395kgs €1040, 2 Lim X 398kgs €1095, AAX 385kgs €925.


Manager’s report…Brendan Egan, Castlerea Mart


“There were 650 cattle on offer this week with trade remaining very strong for the quality lots on offer. Heifers in particular recorded a very good clearance with excellent demand on offer for the quality stores on offer, with prices as strong as €3.00 a kilo for the top quality lots. Weanlings were similar in price as last week with bulls making up to €3.30 a kilo and heifers making up to €3.58 a kilo, however quality has dipped in recent weeks.

  “The dry cow and sucklers both reported good clearances with good numbers on offer again this week. Cows with calves at foot made from €1200 to €1550 with springers making from €910 to €1800 per head.

  “There were 160 bullocks on offer with bullocks making €300 to €855 over their weight with an average of €570 over paid. Trade was similar to recent weeks with demand strongest for the quality store and the forward short keep lots.

  “Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday) with our normal sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am”.

Castlerea Mart sample prices


Ch 420kgs €1155, Lm 410kgs €1140, Sim 460kgs €1390, Ch 450kgs €1180, Lm 560kgs €1365, Ch 555kgs €1305, Ch 580kgs €1345.

Dry cows

Lm 485kgs €850, Chx 815kgs €1580, AA 840kgs €1510, Ch 745kgs €1335, Lm 785kgs €1400.

Weanling bulls

Lm 180kgs €595, Ch 285kgs €870, AA 265kgs €800, Ch 250kgs €760, AA 470kgs €1380, Lm 455kgs €1045.

Weanling heifers

Ch 285kgs €920, Ch 205kgs €735, Ch 270kgs €845, Sim 320kgs €790, Sim 400kgs €1030.


Lm 480kgs €1265, Ch 460kgs €1175, Lm 535kgs €1390, BBx 545kgs €1270, Ch 610kgs €1430, AA 640kgs €1315.


Defenceless sheep‘being savaged by marauding dogs’



Michael Glennon, Roscommon IFA Sheep Chairperson, says much stronger action is required to address the dreadful problem of marauding dog attacks on sheep flocks.

  He said with the darker evenings and nights at this time of year, dog attacks increase. He noted that recent cases have been reported around the country.

  According to Mr. Glennon, some of these attacks are vicious, with defenceless sheep flocks savaged by marauding dogs inflicting terrible suffering and pain and in many cases death on the sheep.

  Mr. Glennon said dog owners need to take a much more active and responsible approach towards ownership and towards ensuring that their pets are under control at all times.

  He warned: “Owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences. Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock”.

  Mr. Glennon said that 85% of dogs are now micro-chipped, according to the Department of Agriculture. He said a single database must be introduced with controls on change of ownership so that all owners are held accountable.

  “To make micro-chipping effective, Minister Creed must pull together a single database and proper controls on ownership”.

  He also encouraged all dog owners, including farmers, to make sure to get their dogs micro-chipped.

  Mr. Glennon called on Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture to launch a major publicity campaign on responsible ownership. He said a major TV, radio and social media campaign is required to get the message across to the 800,000 people with dogs in Ireland.


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