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Roscommon Mart Watch - January 18th



Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart


“The numbers on offer were small for the first weanling sale of the year, held on Tuesday last. There was a firm trade for all lots with a good clearance.

  “Weanling heifers averaged from €2.18 per kilo up to €2.42 per kilo. Bull weanlings ranged from €2.53 per kilo up to €2.86 per kilo.

  “The next sale of weanlings takes place on Tuesday, January 29th at 5 pm. All enquiries to 090-6626352.

  “There was an increase in numbers on offer at this week’s sheep sale. Prices for finished lambs peaked at €126 for 60kgs. There was a steady trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €56 up to €130. Sales continue each Wednesday at 11 am for lambs and cast ewes. Cast ewes made from €56 to €130 per lot”.

Roscommon Mart sample prices

Weanling heifers

Char X 400kgs €890 - €2.22 per kilo, Char X 315kgs €700kgs - €2.22 per kilo, Char X 290kgs €700 - €2.41 per kilo, Char X 320kgs €700 - €2.18 per kilo, Char X 315kgs €700 - €2.22 per kilo, Lim X 310kgs €750 - €2.42 per kilo.

Weanling bulls

Lim 435kgs €1135 - €2.61 per kilo, Lim 425kgs €1080 - €2.54 per kilo, Lim 400kgs €1055 - €2.64 per kilo, Char 355kgs €925 - €2.61 per kilo, 3 Lim 221kgs €625kgs - €2.81 per kilo, Char X 245kgs €700 - €2.86 per kilo.

Finished hoggets

60kgs €126, 52kgs €125, 54kgs €123, 55kgs €121, 49.5kgs €121, 50.7kgs €120, 51.8kgs €120, 50.7kgs €117, 48.4kgs €115.50, 48.9kgs €115, 47.6kgs €114, 44kgs €111.

Manager’s report…Brendan Egan, Castlerea Mart

“There were 240 cattle on offer at our first sale of 2019. Younger stock in particular noticed the most improvement in price with strong demand on offer the quality lighter stores.

  “The bullocks and heifers reported good clearances also while in the weanling rings, even though the numbers presented were small, demand was improved. Our first calves of the season met a very strong trade while the dry cow trade reported a similar trade to pre-Christmas.

  “Springers made from €710 to €1,300 per head, young calves made from €150 to €370 per head, and runners made from €400 to €745 for the continental lots.

  “Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday 17th) with our usual sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings on offer. Sales commence at 11 am”.

Castlerea Mart sample prices


Chx 460kgs €1100, Lm 450kgs €1035, Ch 555kgs €1280, Lm 400kgs €895, AA 425kgs €945, AA 560kgs €1145.


Ch 420kgs €1000, BBx 435kgs €1095, Ch 470kgs €1090, Sim 490kgs €1080, Lm 600kgs €1380, Ch 545kgs €1290.

Dry cows

Si 830kgs €1590, BA 820kgs €1640, BAx 775kgs €1520, BBx 770kgs €1450, Fr 440kgs €440, AAx 455kgs €600.

Weanling bulls

Ch 275kgs €775, Lm 265kgs €695, Chx 395kgs €945, Lm 330kgs €795, Lm 255kgs €725.

Weanling heifers

Chx 375kgs €1000, Chx 375kgs €895, Hex 345kgs €625, AA 280kgs €650, AA 215kgs €520.


IFA to roll out Farm Safety initiative in 2019


Commenting on the figures released by the Health & Safety Authority, IFA’s Health & Safety Executive William Shortall said 2019 would see the rollout of IFA’s peer-to-peer farm safety learning initiative.

  He said: “There were 15 farm fatalities in 2018, which is a stark message that we have more to do in this area. The peer-to-peer initiative is about encouraging farmers to undertake practical measures that will reduce the risk on their own farm”.

  IFA has confirmed that it will use the branch structure within its 29 county executives to pilot the peer-to-peer farm safety learning initiative. The association says it has already visited over 60 farms. Farm visits have taken place in counties Tipperary, Clare, Wexford, Kildare and Limerick during the last three months of 2018.

  Farms which have been visited are a mixture of enterprises and sizes and groups meet in one particular yard where a discussion takes place concerning any ‘near-miss’ within the last 18 months. A walk of the farm then takes place. The following areas are focused on: livestock housing and handling unit; machinery; farmyard; and workshop.

  The farmer is given a ‘pros and cons’ document to fill out based on what the group observe around the farm. The farmer then chooses one item or behaviour they will change before the group reconvenes. This process is repeated on each of the individual farms in the group. All members taking part in the pilot are doing so on a voluntary basis.


Leyden calls for Property Marking Crime Prevention scheme





Cllr. Orla Leyden has called for a ‘Property Marking Crime Prevention’ scheme to be introduced in the county.

  At a recent meeting of Roscommon County Council, Cllr. Leyden put down a motion calling on the Council to purchase a property marker machine in association with Roscommon Joint Policing Committee.

  “This Telesis Dot Peen machine works by stamping the individual’s Eircode into the item to be marked, thus making it more difficult to sell on if it’s stolen. It can be used on everything from steel to plastic items.

  “The property marking machine could be loaned to Community Alert Groups and other groups free of charge who wish to organise property marking events for items such as lawnmowers, strimmers, trailers, TVs, smart phones. It could be of interest to sports cubs too. Schools could also avail of marking equipment belonging to the school and businesses and farmers might have power tools, generators and other portable equipment that would benefit from being marked”.

  The matter is now going before the next meeting of the Roscommon Joint Policing Committee. Cllr. Leyden said that she is confident that the Property Marking Crime Prevention scheme will be introduced in Roscommon following the positive response she received at both Roscommon County Council where the motion was agreed and at the public meeting of Roscommon Joint Policing Committee in December where her proposal was supported by all present including An Garda Síochána.

  She concluded by saying that the property marking machine will be an invaluable resource and that it could assist the Gardaí in tracing and recovering stolen property.

  “Most importantly it will act as a deterrent to thieves in the first place where signs and stickers saying ‘Beware Property Marking in Operation’ can be erected in the community,” she concluded.

Beef Plan Group to meet in Castlerea



The beef farmers of County Roscommon are preparing to mobilise ahead of a Beef Plan Group meeting in Castlerea Mart next Wednesday (16th) at 8 pm. The Beef Plan movement has been described by national organisers as “a last chance” for the struggling sector.

  Spokesperson for the Roscommon group, Philip Leech, says something had to be done as farmers’ profits continue to decline.

  “This is a voluntary organisation and it’s a plan that has been put together by farmers for farmers. Farmers’ profits have been eaten into by beef processors and retailers, and as a result the farming body is not getting a fair share of the pie. What the Beef Plan Group is trying to do is get a bit of control back before it’s too late,” he said.

  Philip added that the group’s objectives centre around three main issues: regaining control of an animal from birth to slaughter and beyond; returning the cost of production plus a margin as a minimum, and regaining respect within the beef industry.

  Philip said that the national Beef Plan Group is aiming to attract as many farmers as possible to row in behind the proposals.

  “We’re trying to get 40,000 farmers to back this plan and if we have that it means we have a voice when it comes time to go to the Department (of Agriculture)”.

  New members of the Beef Plan Group are being asked to contribute €10 towards the voluntary group.

  Philip urged all Roscommon farmers involved in the beef sector to attend next Wednesday’s meeting in Castlerea Mart, adding that it was “in their best interests” so that they too could have a voice.


ICMSA: Higher milk prices expected




Dairy markets have continued improving into the New Year confirming the positive trend that ran throughout December 2018, with ICMSA’s Gerald Quain indicating that his organisation expects the significant upward tick to result in a rise in farmer milk price.

  ICMSA has been critical of the processors who cut the November milk price in defiance of what the farm organisation said were “a raft of positive market developments and a PPI that did not justify a price cut”.

  Dairy Committee Chairperson Mr. Quain was adamant that the last two GDTs signalled a positive turn and he noted that Dutch dairy quotations have continued to move upwards with powders performing well on the back of what he described as “an extraordinary” demand for SMP from EU Intervention stocks.  

  “The strong sales out of intervention are, we think, very significant for dairy markets as we set off into 2019. The stock overhang of SMP has been massively reduced with over 270,000 tonnes sold out of intervention in 2018,” he said.

  “Looking at markets in detail, the 2.8% increase in the most recent GDT auction was achieved by increases in all products sold with butter up 3.9%, SMP increasing 7.9% and WMP achieving 1.2% gains. These improvements in the GDT occurred after falls over the course of 2018 but, more importantly, they came at a time where New Zealand has increased milk supply over their production season”.


Teagasc: Prevent farm injuries in January



According to Teagasc, fatal farm accidents showed a reduction in 2018 with 17 deaths (provisional figure). This is five fewer than the average for the previous 5 years (22). No farm fatality was recorded in the final quarter of 2018.

  53% (9) of fatalities in 2018 were associated with farm vehicles and machinery while a further 29% were associated with livestock. The remaining 18% of deaths were associated with a fall from height, slurry drowning and timber cutting.

  59% of fatalities occurred to persons aged 65 years or older, with half occurring to persons aged 75 or older.

  Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist, Dr. John McNamara called on farmers to give safety first priority during January and the busy spring period in 2019. He said that the risk of farm accidents rises with increased work activity and prevention is strongly associated with implementing behavioural practices.

  “Being struck with a moving vehicle is the most frequent cause of farm deaths on Irish farms, so particular vigilance is needed when they are operating,” he stated. 

  “A vehicle moving at fast walking pace covers about 2 metres per second so it gives a person in its path little chance to avoid impact. Elderly farmers are at particular risk.

  “Vigilance is also needed when handling livestock, particularly cows around calving. A freshly calved cow should be securely restrained before administering a treatment to their calf.

  “When the slurry spreading season gets underway from January 13th, vigilance is required with this operation. Power shaft guards need to be in place, a windy day needs to be selected for slurry agitation and all slurry tank openings need to be guarded to prevent drowning,” he added.

  The Teagasc Health and Safety Specialist also advised farmers to watch out for unstable loads around the farm including unstable stacks of hay or straw which could collapse and cause injury. 

  A newly revised legal Farm Safety Risk Assessment replaced the previous version from January 1st. Completion of the revised document is a requirement for Food Assurance schemes. Completion of a half-day training course on Risk Assessment, or completion of the Green Certificate within the last five years, is a mandatory requirement for TAMS11 grant drawdown.

  Further information can be obtained from Teagasc offices or Agricultural Consultants.  



Macra preparing to crown King and Queen



Christopher Towey of Castlerea Macra and Sinead Conry of Elphin Macra will represent Roscommon at the 2019 North West Macra Kings & Queens Festival which takes place on Saturday, January 19th in The Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo Town with a royal banquet from 8 pm.

  The festival, which is in its 12th year, is organised by North West Macra na Feirme executive committee and is the highlight of the North West Macra na Feirme calendar, welcoming hundreds of members to Sligo.

  The 2019 winning North West Macra na Feirme King and Queen will be announced at midnight and they will be presented with €200 each and the coveted crowns. DJ James King of Shannonside FM will entertain the crowd until the early hours of the morning.

  Tickets can be purchased through Miriam Lynch on 087-2567883.

  For more information please contact Sharon Corcoran on 086-1600395 or Siobhán Gallagher on 087-3748892, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., check out Facebook.


Roscommon People Mart Watch - January 11th




Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart

“We had small numbers on offer at our first sheep sale of the year yesterday (Wednesday). Prices for finished lambs peaked at €119 for 58kgs. There was a steady trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €50 up to €130. Sales continue each Wednesday at 11 am for lambs and cast ewes”.


Roscommon Mart sample prices


Finished hoggets


58kgs €119, 51.4kgs €117, 47.8kgs 116, 50.8kgs €115.50, 47kgs €113.50, 47.1kgs €113, 47kgs €108.


Roscommon Sheep Seminar on January 9th




When we look at 2018 it was a year of contrasts in the agricultural sector – and that’s just the weather! From the extremes of Storm Ophelia and fodder shortages of the spring, we slipped in to the month of May fearing a poor summer would put farmers on their knees. What a welcome surprise we got initially, with pleasant weather and a general uplift in the mood of the farming sector.

  Soon however, the drought took hold, soil moisture deficits become the buzz words and grass shortages were widespread. Thankfully, we got some bounce back in the autumn with better than normal grass growth in September and October and an extended grazing season. This has shortened somewhat the winter housing period and fears of potential fodder shortages are not as severe as originally forecast.

  Planning for feeding and management of your ewe flock pre-lambing remains a top priority and on Wednesday, January 9th a KT Sheep National Event is planned in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon for 7.30 pm.

  Mike Shields, Nutritionist with RED Mills Ltd. will speak on the importance of a balanced ration in the pregnant ewe’s diet and the key ingredients that should be included. 

  Following on from this, Damien Costello, Sheep Specialist with Teagasc, will focus on growing spring grass for the lactating ewe and ensuring the ewe is getting her daily requirements to maintain milk flow to her lambs.

  Frank Hynes, Career and Job Consultant, will also be speaking on finding meaningful work both on and off the farm.

  Finally, Kepak Group will make a presentation on market outlook for 2019 and a live demo showing where in the world the various lamb cuts are sent. It’s surprising that the constituent parts of any lamb can end up in 20 different countries worldwide. 

  Again, the night is open to all to attend and if you are in a KT Sheep Group, sign in starts from 7.15 pm.

  Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. They have offices based in Roscommon town (090-6626166), Longford town (043-3341021) and Castlerea (094-9620160). You can find us on Facebook @Teagascroscommonlongford.


*Brian Daly is the Teagasc Drystock Advisor based in Roscommon town


Origin Green Award!



Teagasc Roscommon/Longford would like to congratulate David and Giles Auchmuty, Ballygalda, Roscommon on winning the 2018 Origin Green Bord  Bia National Award for the Weanling/Store to Beef category. Their winning of this award from almost 40,000 entrants is a great news story for farming in Roscommon. The Auchmutys are clients of local Teagasc Adviser Brian Daly, who is based in the Roscommon office.



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