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Roscommon farmer Michael scoops top award at Aurivo Milk Quality Awards




Aurivo, which acknowledged milk suppliers for their contribution to dairy farming excellence at their 12th annual Aurivo Milk Quality Awards, welcomed the eight winners and their families to a special ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel, Sligo where they were celebrated for their hard work and dedication to dairy farming and milk production.

  Special guest Ornua CEO John Jordan presented the awards to the winners with the top award, the Aurivo Milk Supplier of the Year, going to Roscommon farmers Michael and Miriam Gunn from Carrowglogher, Strokestown, County Roscommon who, due to their relentless focus on sustainable farming techniques on their 108 hectare farm, were also named winner of the Champions of Sustainability category.

  The Gunns, who are the first recipients of the Champions of Sustainability award, credit their efforts towards sustainable farming to a number of lean efficiencies that contribute to a more efficient operation.

   According to Chief Executive of Aurivo Aaron Forde: “Aurivo takes great pride in its quality milk pool and committed supplier base, in both the Republic and Northern Ireland. Today we congratulate our eight Quality Milk Award winners for 2018, but also acknowledge the other 1,000 milk suppliers across Ireland who work countless hours to deliver first class quality milk. Personally, I would like to congratulate all of today’s deserving winners and thank them for their unprecedented commitment in producing the best quality milk”.

  The Gunn family will now represent Aurivo at the most prestigious awards ceremony for Irish dairy farmers, the NDC and Kerrygold Quality Milk Awards later this year, which sets out to find and celebrate the top milk quality farmers in Ireland.


It’s not Fair! Murphy says Government is ignoring farmers



Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy has accused the Government of ignoring the farming community by failing to bring in changes to the Fair Deal Scheme which would benefit those working in the sector.  

  Deputy Murphy said: “The Government made grand announcements that they would amend the Fair Deal legislation to support farm families. These vital changes would have brought in a Bill to cap farm contributions from farm assets at three years, if a family member is continuing to work on the farm.

  “Heads of Bill have still not been published despite much anticipation in the farming community. This delay is unacceptable and will mean that farm families across the country are losing out on the benefits of this scheme.

  “This has been a bugbear for farming families for years, and these changes are desperately needed to make the scheme fairer and to ensure that older farmers can access the care they need”.

  Deputy Murphy said that the farming community is “up in arms”.

  He added: “There have been no supports for the sector as Brexit looms. There have been no changes to the Fair Deal Scheme. The sector is being neglected. All attempts should be made to support them”.


Roscommon People Mart Watch - May 17th




Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart


“There was a good sale again this week with excellent stock on offer. There was a very lively trade for heifers with prices ranging from €2.41 per kilo up to €3 per kilo. Numbers of bullocks on offer were small. There was a large number of dry cows only one lot unsold. Prices for dry cows ranged from €1.71 per kilo up to €2.34 per kilo.  There were plenty of customers sourcing stock resulting in a very high clearance of lots.

  “The mart will host a special sale of bullocks this Friday (17th) at 11 am. The following Friday (24th) will see a special sale of heifers with bookings accepted up to 5 pm today.

  “There were smaller numbers on offer at this week’s sheep sale which saw a dip in trade for spring lamb with prices fetching €120 for 50.2kgs. Prices for finished hoggets, meanwhile, peaked at €105 for 52.7kgs. There was a steady trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €68 up to €120 and while there was a smaller entry of ewes with lambs at foot on offer this week, there was a brisk trade with a full clearance. Sheep sales continue each Wednesday at 11 am”.


Roscommon Mart sample prices


Dry cows

Simm X 995kgs €1990, Simm X 985kgs €1900, Lim X 700kgs €1640, BBX 680kgs €1550, Char X 685kgs €1510, Lim 645kgs €1445, He 720kgs €1360, AAX 725kgs €1230, Char X 590kgs €1290, Lim X 705kgs €1445, Lim X 535kgs €970, Lim X 640kgs €1100.


Char X 790kgs €1860, Char X 645kgs €1600, Char X 555kgs €1470, Char X 535kgs €1405, Lim X 520kgs €1385, BBX 540kgs €1335, Lim X 490kgs €1325, Char X 550kgs €1325, 2 Char 485kgs €1275, Lim X 445kgs €1210, Char X 460kgs €1160, Lim X 405kgs €1125, Char X 380kgs €1030, 2 Char X 395kgs €985, AAX 415kgs €900, Lim X 330kgs €990.

Spring lamb

50.2kgs €120, 58kgs €120, 52.4kgs €118, 54.3kgs €117, 48kgs €117, 55kgs €117, 47.8kgs €115, 44.5kgs €114, 44.2kgs €112, 41.6kgs €110.

Finished hoggets

52.7kgs €105, 50.8kgs €102, 55.7kgs €100.

Manager’s report…Brendan Egan, Castlerea Mart

“A large entry of stock presented for sale again this week with the bullock and heifer rings reporting a very good trade and the heifers in particular recording some very fancy prices on the day. The weanling rings reported a similar story with demand remaining strong for both bulls and heifers.

  “Dry cows were a flying trade also for both the stores and the forward lots while breeding stock and calves reported good clearances with €585 recorded for a three-week-old Belgian Blue bull calf.

  “Cows with calves at foot made from €1,000 to €1,950 for a Limousin cow and her Limousin heifer calf at foot. Springers made from €1,040 to €1,400 per head. There were good numbers of calves and runners on offer with trade and prices remaining good for all lots on offer.

  “Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday 16th) with our usual sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am with three rings in operation”.


Castlerea Mart sample prices



Ch 455kgs €1260, Ch 425kgs €1175, Lm 475kgs €1205, AAx 520kgs €1305, AA 500kgs €1220, Lm 510kgs €1205.


Ch 405kgs €1065, Lm 495kgs €1345, Lmx 470kgs €1265, Ch 510kgs €1505, Lm 550kgs €1445, Ch 540kgs €1370.

Dry cows

Chx 680kgs €1500, AAx 760kgs €1470, Lm 700kgs €1450, Lmx 685kgs €1405, Lmx 800kgs €1595.


Hex bull €355, Hex hfr €365, BB bull €585, AA hfr €240, Lm hfr €405, Fr bull €90, Fr bull €140.

Weanling bulls

Ch 285kgs €960, Ch 255kgs €885, Lm 250kgs €840, Lm 245kgs €835, Ch 430kgs €1125, Ch 375kgs €1080.

Weanling heifers

Si 295kgs €905, Lm 270kgs €840, Ch 260kgs €810, Ch 310kgs €1020, Lm 330kgs €1000, Ch 320kgs €935, BBx 280kgs €870.


National Broadband Plan important for rural Ireland – IFA



IFA President Joe Healy has said the Government’s decision to proceed with the National Broadband Plan was an important development for rural Ireland.

  “Broadband is an essential tool for the business of farming, accessing health and education, bridging the digital divide and the development of vibrant communities. Farm families and rural businesses require access to a fibre broadband service that makes their lives better and lowers the cost of doing business,” he said.

  Mr. Healy aded: “There is only one chance to get this right and given the scale of investment by taxpayers, the focus must be laser-like to ensure value for money.

  “I believe the roll-out plans should have a parallel process for starting at the most rural edges of the network to ensure that those most underserved receive it quickly. The overall completion timeframe which has already been extended to seven years must be delivered on”.



Three-year cap must be retrospectively applied – IFA


IFA Farm Family & Social Affairs Chairperson, Caroline Farrell said that Minister of State for Older People Jim Daly must retrospectively apply the three-year cap on productive farm assets to July 2018, when Cabinet approved the proposal. 

  “It is encouraging that the Heads of Bill are expected to be drafted by the end of May.  However, this is nearly a year after Minister Daly promised that the Heads of Bill would be brought before the Oireachtas,” she said.

  Caroline Farrell said that this means the Nursing Home Support Scheme legislation will not be amended until the end of the year, at the earliest, and won’t be operational until at least mid-2020. 

  “This is nearly five years after the Government gave a commitment to introduce changes as soon as practicable to remove discrimination against family farms and small business under the Fair Deal scheme.

  “The Government must honour their commitment and retrospectively apply the three-year cap to July 2018 when it was approved by Cabinet,” she said.

  She added that the Heads of Bill must guarantee that the three-year cap also applies to farms that are currently leased, but where a family successor gives a verified commitment that they would continue to farm the asset for a period of six years.

IFA Cabinet protest is ‘start of rebellion’



Addressing the IFA protest on Brexit losses outside the recent Government Cabinet meeting in Cork, IFA President Joe Healy accused the Taoiseach and the Government of failing beef farmers who have suffered losses of €100m from Brexit.

  “Politicians have not delivered on their promises. Our message to the Taoiseach and his Cabinet here in Cork today is that farmers will judge politicians on their actions on this issue. Election day is three weeks away on Friday (May 24th), and May 25th will be judgement day,” he said.

  Farmers from all over the country travelled to Cork for the protest seeking support for beef farmers who have suffered Brexit losses of over €100m.

  “We are sending a strong message to the Government that farmers are rebelling against inaction. The Minister for Agriculture has been standing idly by, adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach. This is not good enough,” he said.

  Joe Healy says that politicians have been “promising big” on Brexit losses, but it was now time to deliver.

  “Farmers are angry with the inaction from the Government and the EU Commission. Farmers have already taken a huge hit from Brexit-related losses. They need help now,” he said.


Tommy’s delight as Ifac shortlisted for top award





Ifac, the farming, food and agribusiness professional services firm, have been shortlisted for Large Practice of the Year at the Irish Accountancy Awards. The firm has over 30 offices around the country including a branch in Roscommon.  

  Tommy Fallon, Partner at ifac’s Roscommon branch, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for Large Practice of the Year at the Irish Accountancy Awards. At ifac we have over 40 years in business nationwide providing advice to farming, food and agribusinesses and the personal aspect is an extremely important part of our work. We are really looking forward to the awards ceremony and hope to come away with the prize”. 

  Ifac has also been shortlisted for Advisory Team of the Year, Young Accountant of the Year and Part-Qualified Accountant of the Year. The winners will be announced at the Irish Accountancy Awards taking place on Thursday, 16th of May in The Mansion House, Dublin.

Get Walking, Get Talking for Green Ribbon campaign







IFA President Joe Healy has encouraged farm families to attend and support ‘Let’s Talk and Walk’ forest walks organised by IFA in partnership with See Change, Coillte, and Mental Health Ireland in support of the Green Ribbon campaign this month.

  Walks have been organised in venues throughout the country during May, which is Green Ribbon month – a month dedicated to encouraging people in Ireland to End Mental Health Stigma.

  IFA President Joe Healy said: “This has been a particularly tough year for many farm families, the uncertainty of Brexit and continued high input costs and low prices have contributed to a lot of additional stress and strain on many farm families. It is hoped that the walks will provide an opportunity for friends, families and communities to connect while being mindful of their own and others’ mental health and wellbeing”.

  Jim Daly, Minister of State with Responsibility for Mental Health welcomed the initiative, commenting: “We know that individuals who often work alone – like farmers – are identified as a priority group within our national strategy to reduce suicide, Connecting for Life. People working in this area can often feel isolated and may not be aware of how to access supports. These walks will help to strengthen connections within the farming and wider community, while sharing knowledge about what supports and services can maintain positive mental health”.

  Let’s Talk and Walk will take place in the following locations: Ards Forest Park, Co. Donegal; Rossmore Forest Park, Co. Monaghan (Sunday, May 12th); Galway Wind Park, Oughterard, Co. Galway (Thursday, May 16th); Emo Forest, Co. Laois; Doneraile Park, Co. Cork (both on Sunday, May 19th); Fore Valley, Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath (Sunday, May 26th).

Roscommon People Mart Watch - May 10th




Manager’s report…Maura Quigley, Roscommon Mart


“There were good numbers on offer again this week with prices holding firm for all classes. Average prices for bullocks ranged from €2.32 per kilo up to €2.89 per kilo. Heifers fetched from an average of €2.17 per kilo up to €2.43 per kilo. There was a large entry of dry cows with prices averaging from €1.74 per kilo up to €2.40 per kilo.

  “There is a special sale of heifers this Friday (10th) at 11 am and a special sale of bullocks the following Friday (17th). Bookings accepted up to 5 pm today (9th).

  “There was a good entry of excellent quality stock on offer at Tuesday’s weanling sale. There was a lively trade for weanling bulls with prices fetching from an average of €2.48 per kilo up to €3.45 per kilo. There was also a brisk trade for heifer weanlings with lots averaging from €2.38 per kilo up to €3.13 per kilo.

  “There were similar numbers on offer at this week’s sheep sale. Prices for spring lamb fetched €132 for 47.1kgs. Prices for finished hoggets peaked at €120 for 65.6kgs. There was a steady trade for cast ewes with prices ranging from €68 up to €120. There was a large entry of ewes with lambs at foot on offer with a brisk trade and very high percentage of lots sold. Sales continue each Wednesday at 11 am”.


Roscommon Mart sample prices


Dry cows

Lim X 880kgs €1700, Simm X 865kgs €1540, Lim X 620kgs €1490, Lim X 760kgs €1485, Char 765kgs €1360, Char X 660kgs €1165, Simm X 640kgs €1155, Lim X 655kgs €1270, Lim X 575kgs €1070, Char X 690kgs €1320, Lim 670kgs €1470.


Char 745kgs €1780, Char 740kgs €1739, Char X 715kgs €1725, Char X 725kgs €1703, BBX 645kgs €1570, Char X 545kgs €1540, Lim X 585kgs €1400, Lim X 560kgs €1390, Simm X 590kgs €1380, 3 AAX 543kgs €1200, Char X 445kgs €1230, 2 AAX 537kgs €1235, 2 Lim X 490kgs €1270, Char X 465kgs €1180, 2 Lim X 470kgs €1170, Char X 365kgs €1055.

Weanling heifers

BBX 455kgs €1090 - €2.39 per kilo, BBx 435kgs €1065 - €2.44 per kilo, Lim X 440kgs €1050, Lim X 380kgs €1020 - €2.42 per kilo, 2 AAX 382kgs €890 - €2.32 per kilo, BAX 335kgs €920 - €2.74 per kilo, Char X 360kgs €870 - BBX 390kgs €930 - €2.38 per kilo, Lim 205kgs €640 - €3.12 per kilo, BBX 255kgs €800 - €3.13 per kilo.

Weanling bulls

Char X 370kgs €1280 - €3.45 per kilo, Lim 465kgs €1120 - €2.40 per kilo, Char X 420kgs €1060 - €2.52 per kilo, Lim X 350kgs €965 -€2.75 per kilo, Char 335kgs €980 - €2.92 per kilo, Char X 360kgs €955 - €2.65 per kilo, Lim 380kgs €950 - €2.50 per kilo, 2 Char X 330kgs €910 - €2.75 per kilo, PTX 280kgs €815kgs - €2.91 per kilo, Char X 255kgs €760 - €2.98 per kilo.


Lim X 650kgs €1375, Char X 640kgs €1350, Simm X 610kgs €1250, 2 Lim X 517kgs €1250, Char X 525kgs €1240, Simm 545kgs €1230, Char X 525kgs €1160, AAX 480kgs €1000, Lim X 465kgs €1000, Lim X 315kgs €705.

Spring lamb

47.1kgs €132, 54.5kgs €132, 57kgs €127, 44.9kgs €126, 45.9kgs €126, 46kgs €125, 45kgs €125, 46.9kgs €123, 45.9kgs €122, 43.5kgs €120.

Finished hoggets

65.6kgs €120, 53.8kgs €115, 49kgs €110, 48kgs €110.           


Manager’s report…Brendan Egan, Castlerea Mart


“Numbers presented for sale remaining strong for the time of year and the forward stores in particular reported a very good demand this week with a top price of €1,070 over recorded in the heifers, and the dry cows recorded over €2 a kilo for the forward lots.

  “In the weanling rings trade has remained firm also with strong farmer, feedlot and exporter activity this week while breeding stock remain a very good trade.

  “Cows with calves at foot made from €1,030 to €1,740 per head and springers made from €1,050 to €1,250 per head.

  “There were 200 bullocks on offer at our recent sale with prices ranging from €350 to €905 over with an average of €597 over paid. Demand was very strong this week for the bullocks with a full clearance reported from a well-attended sale.

  “Sales continue at Castlerea Mart today (Thursday 9th) when we have our usual sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves, runners and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am”.


Castlerea Mart sample prices




Lmx 395kgs €1105, BBx 415kgs €1070, Chx 480kgs €1290, Ch 435kgs €1155, Ch 670kgs €1740, Ch 595kgs €1390, Lm 500kgs €1380, Lm 490kgs €1155.


Hex Hfr €255, Ch Bull €430, Ch Hfr €355, Lm Hfr €405, Hex Bull €270, Fr Bull €50.

Weanling bulls

Ch 270kgs €870, Lm 275kgs €870, Ch 255kgs €780, Ch 370kgs €1050, Lm 345kgs €1000, Lm 350kgs €985, Lm 445kgs €1140.

Weanling heifers

Lm 295kgs €925, Ch 275kgs €870, Ch 255kgs €780, Ch 370kgs €1050, Lm 345kgs €1000, Lm 350kgs €985, Lm 445kgs €1140.


Ch 475kgs €1275, Lm 415kgs €1230, AA 490kgs €1205, AA 540kgs €1370, Ch 500kgs €1335, Lm 510kgs €1305, AA 575kgs €1480, Ch 600kgs €1470, AA 555kgs €1350.

Dry cows

AAx 495kgs €1000, Lm 950kg €1890, Ch 870kgs €1755, Lm 790kgs €1685, Lm 820kgs €1650, Lm 750kgs €1495.


GLAS payments of €10.8m still due – Brady




IFA Rural Development Committee Chairman Joe Brady has welcomed the issuing of GLAS balancing payments worth €25m to 42,000 farmers. However, he has called for all outstanding payments to eligible farmers to be paid without further delay.

  IFA estimate that 1,500 farmers still have not received any payment for 2018, amounting to approx. €10.8m due in outstanding payments.

  Joe Brady has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to raise the need for transitional arrangements for the 25,000 farmers whose GLAS contracts finish at the end of 2020 with the EU Commission.

  He said: “This is necessary as it is now likely that the existing CAP will be rolled over beyond December 2020.

  “Farmers must have clarity as to whether there will be a gap year when GLAS contracts finish, as environmental payments are a key component of cash flow and farm income on all farms”.

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