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Healthy business at Roscommon Mart

The Irish Farmers’ Journal (IFJ), in association with ICOS and Full Health Medical, launched the ‘Farmers Grow For Movember – Fovember’ campaign last week.

  Visitors to Roscommon Mart last Friday were offered free men’s health checks and also free hot towel shaves from Sam’s Barbers, Dublin, as part of the campaign.

  “This is the first initiative we’re running this year with ICOS marts, and it’s part of Movember/Fovember raising awareness of men’s health,” said Peter Young, a journalist with the IFJ.

  He added: “We’re offering free health checks for farmers who come into the mart today and also free hot towel shaves. It’s to get farmers to basically look after themselves.

  “We know they take great care of their stock and crops but we want them to take care of themselves too.”

  The campaign aims to offer free health checks at six different marts nationwide while raising money and awareness for men’s health and the Movember campaign.

  Peter stressed the importance of health checks among farmers. “It’s for the Irish Cancer Society and they realise the benefit of getting themselves checked out and also donating because there’s specific research on this whole area of men’s health,” he said. “Prostate, testicular cancer and mental health is also a big issue because farmers can be very lonely and we’re trying to get that conversation going.”

  So, what did these free health checks show and just how healthy are farmers in Roscommon?

  “Farmers, while they work outdoors and feel like they’re healthy, they’re not a healthy bunch!” said Peter.

  “There’s a higher percentage of obesity and higher risk due to diet. They just have to look after themselves a little bit more and they can look forward to living a lot longer.”

  There was a constant stream of visitors to the free health check with curious farmers also checking out the free hot towel shaves by Sam Donnelly of Sam’s barbers.

  “We’ve been kept going today, plenty of donations and curiosity!” said barber Gareth Moriarty as Sam skillfully worked his blade and business continued in the rings as usual.

 

 

Glas approval letters to local farmers

Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins has welcomed news that approval letters for farmers to join the GLAS scheme are set to issue this week.

  Cllr. Hopkins has said that the move will be a welcome boost to both farmers and the local economy prior to Christmas with payments under the first tranche set to issue in December.

  Commenting on the news, Cllr. Hopkins said: “The issuing of approval letters to farmers who applied for GLAS last spring has been highly anticipated by farmers in the area and it is welcome news that these farmers now know where they stand under the scheme.”

  She added: “Thousands of farmers in the Roscommon and Galway area applied to the first tranche of the scheme and it is also positive news that the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has confirmed that approved farmers will receive three months payment under the scheme this year. Under the scheme farmers can receive payments up to a maximum of €5,000 for carrying out agri-environmental actions.”

  Cllr. Hopkins was also keen to encourage Roscommon farmers who did not apply for the first tranche of GLAS to consider making an application for the second tranche, which opened in recent weeks.

IFA makes progress on knowledge transfer funding for mixed enterprises

The IFA has received confirmation that joint enterprises like cattle and sheep are to be accommodated with additional payments under the Knowledge Transfer Programme.

  Following a meeting between senior officials in the Department of Agriculture and IFA, involving IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey and Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy, the IFA said the Department accepts the argument that joint enterprises are entitled to an additional Knowledge Transfer payment to take account of the additional enterprise.

  John Lynskey said: “this is a welcome development from the Department and is very important for the sheep sector, where most farms have an additional enterprise, like cattle and sheep or tillage.”

  The additional KT payment will take account of the additional work involved under the programme for a farm with two enterprises, without it involving double funding. Lynskey added: “It is very important that the additional KT payment is substantial.”

   John Lynskey also welcomed the decision by Minister Coveney to reinstate grant aid for sheep fencing into TAMS II. He said this is a “critically important issue for the sheep sector and IFA had lobbied hard on the issue prior to the budget.”

  Flor McCarthy said the Knowledge Transfer Programme is a very important scheme for farmers and there has been a strong response to joining groups on the ground. He said: “Applications have been submitted on behalf of 12,000 livestock farmers and 9,000 dairy farmers through registered advisors/planners. Sheep and tillage farmers will submit their interest in the coming weeks.”

Second phase of Glas must allow all farmers who apply to join scheme

With farmers now being notified on their acceptance into the first phase of GLAS it is vital that the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney gives a clear commitment that all farmers who apply for the second phase of the scheme will also be accepted, IFA Rural Development Chairman Flor McCarthy has said.

  He said the confirmation to farmers of their acceptance into the first phase at this stage will ensure that three months’ payments can be made in December next. This is worth in excess of €20m to up to 27,000 farmers, which will be a welcome boost given that a substantial number of these farmers were very dependent on REPS payments in the past.

  In relation to the second phase of the scheme, Flor McCarthy said the changes that have been imposed by the Minister would mean that some farmers would get a lower payment compared to those who are in the first phase. “This is unacceptable and it is up to the Minister to reverse the changes, particularly in relation to the reduction from 10 to 5 hectares for the low input grassland measure and the dropping of the hedgerow planting measure,” he said.

  He also pointed out that with a five-week window for farmers to apply it is important that any technical issues that exist with planners making applications is resolved. Farmers who apply now will commence their plans from 1st January next and will be due a full five-year payment.

  Mr McCarthy also said that the GLAS numbers must increase to 50,000 farmers in 2016. The second phase will bring the total to 40,000 and it is important that the scheme is reopened again early in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopkins hosting farmers’ information evening in Glenamaddy

The national president of Macra na Feirme, Sean Finan, and former minister for lands Paul Connaughton will be guest speakers at a farmers’ information evening that will be held in Glenamaddy on Saturday, November 7, at 4 pm.

  Cllr. Maura Hopkins, Fine Gael’s general election candidate in the Roscommon-Galway constituency, is hosting the event.

  Cllr. Hopkins, together with her colleague Tuam councillor Peter Keaveney, also of Fine Gael, are inviting farmers to attend the event, which will be held at the farm of Brendan Keaveney, Clooncun, Glenamaddy.

  There will be a Q&A session, refreshments will be served and a number of spot prizes will be presented on the evening. Admission is free.

  Cllr. Hopkins said that the event would be held on a suckler and beef farm enterprise which represented the mainstream of progressive farming in the west of Ireland.

  Cllr. Hopkins holds a Level 6 certificate in Agriculture and is involved in the management of her family farm at Edmonstown, Roscommon.

Mart Reports - 6th November

Castlerea Mart Report

Big numbers of stock presented for sale this week and trade remained solid for most categories of stock on offer, with the quality starting to dip a little. Bigger numbers of cull cows on offer this week with strong demand for feeding cows.

  In the weanling rings, trade was similar to the previous week, while the heifer trade, with better quality on offer this week, reported a lively trade.

  Sample prices – heifers: Ch 420kgs €1050, Lim 425kgs €1005, BB 470kgs €1330, Ch 475kgs €1230, Ch 610kgs €1445, Lim 570kgs €1385.

  Dry cows: Sim 620kgs €1230, Ch 810kgs €1410, Ch 750kgs €1395, Lm 805kgs €1495, Ch 780kgs €1440.

  Cows with calves at foot made from €1350 to €2250 for a Ch cow and her heifer calf at foot. Springers made form €900 to €2030.

  Weanling bulls: Ch 295kgs €930, Ch 260kgs €870, Ch 320kgs €1030, Ch 430kgs €1195, BBx 485kgs €1140.

  Weanling heifers: Ch 295kgs €935, Ch 260kgs €860, Lim 390kgs €1030, Ch 300kgs €990, Ch 400kgs €930.

  Bullock sale on Monday, October 26, October Bank Holiday – 350 bullocks with a lively trade for the stock on offer. Bullocks made from €400 to €950 over their weight, with an average of €630 over paid.

  Sample prices: Lim 365kgs €1350, Lim 510kgs €1395, Ch 510kgs €1345, Ch 580kgs €1440, Ch 605kgs €1550, Ch 650kgs €1430.

  Sales continue at Castlerea Mart.

Roscommon Mart Report

Friday, October 30th: There was another big entry of top quality on offer at last Friday’s sale which included a special sale of heifers.  There was a firm trade for bullocks with a good clearance of lots. Prices for bullocks ranged from an average of €2.29 a kilo up to a top price of €3.15 a kilo.

  There was a strong trade for heifers with a good attendance of customers including some farmers who were purchasing replacement heifers. Prices ranged from €2.38 a kilo up to a max of €3.36 a kilo. There was a very large entry of dry cows with prices improved from the previous week with prices ranging from €1.69 a kilo up to €2.20 a kilo.

  Dry Cows made from €990  to €1700  per head.

Sample Prices: Char X 1000 kgs €1700, BBX 785 kgs €1620, Char X 875 kgs €1605, Lim X 775 kgs €1600, Lim X 770 kgs €1600, Simm X 875 kgs €1500, Char X 720 kgs €1500, Lim X 605 kgs €1330, AAX 755 kgs €1230, HEX 740 kgs €1340. Lim 680 kgs €1170. BAX 525 kgs €1000.

  Heifers made from €590  to €1110  over.

Sample Prices: Char X 720 kgs €1700, Char X 675 kgs €1640, Lim X 470 kgs €1580, BBX 575 kgs €1500, Lim  X 480 kgs €1400, Char X 490 kgs €1345, Char X 475 kgs €1320, 5  Char x 452 kgs €1290, AAX 460 kgs €1055, HEX 480 kgs €1080, Simm X 420 kgs €1045, Simm X 585 kgs €1235, Char X 490 kgs €1225,

Simm X 350 kgs €900, BBX 435 kgs €990, Simm X 550 kgs €1300, Lim x 450 kgs €1220, Lim  x 510 kgs €1280, 2 Lim X 372 kgs 1005, Char X 665 kgs €1600.

  Bullocks made from €590 to €1093 over.

Sample Prices: 2 Lim X 592 kgs €1635, 2 Char X 507 kgs €1600, 4 Char X 546 kgs €1460, BBX 595 kgs €1425, Lim X 510 kgs €1550, Lim X 490 kgs, Lim X 600 kgs €1340, Char X 565 kgs €1220, Char X 520 kgs €1265, Char X 415 kgs €1100, Char X 510 kgs €1265, Char X 535 kgs €1370, Char X 510 kgs €1340

Weanling Sale, Tuesday November 3rd: There were good numbers on offer again this week. There was a firm trade for bull weanlings with no significant change in prices from the previous week. The average price of weanling bulls was €2.56 a kilo with a top price of €3.75 per kilo.

  There was also a lively trade for heifer weanling with prices on par to last week. Average price for weanling heifers was €2.61 a kilo with a max price of €3.48 a kilo.     There was an excellent demand and very high clearance of lots for the Special entry of springing heifers and cows, sales continue for weanlings and suckler cows on  Tuesdays at 5 pm.

  Weanling Heifers made from €420 to €700 over.

Sample Prices: Char X 500 kgs €1200, Char  X 440 kgs €1140, Char  X 355 kgs €1075, Char X 310 kgs €1000, BBX 340 kgs €960, Lim X 305 kgs €880, Char X 325 kgs €915, Char X 290 kgs 950, Char X 275 kgs €855, BX 285 kgs €795, Char X 245 kgs €790, Char X 265 kgs 770, Char X 290 kgs €950.

  Weanling Bulls made from €535 to €860 over.

Sample Prices: Char X 460 kgs €1285, Char 410 kgs €1270, Lim 410 kgs €1135, Char X 350 kgs €1120,

Simm X 485 kgs €104, Char X 370 kgs €1035, Lim X 335 kgs €1030, Lim X 325 kgs €990, 2 Lim 315 kgs €900, Char X 280 kgs €850, BBX 330 kgs €880, Char X 295 kgs €855, Lim X 305 kgs €1005, Char X 280 kgs €1070. Special entry of springers made from €1560 to €2170. Cows with calves at foot made from €2420 to €2750.

   Sheep Sale, Wednesday November 4th: There were slightly smaller numbers on offer this week. There was a steady trade for lambs with a large number of lots sold. There was an improved trade for cast ewes with a full clearance of lots.

  Sample prices: ewe lambs: 46.40 kgs €105, 49 kgs €107, 55 kgs €108, 46.90 kgs €105.

Mixed lambs: 53.60 kgs €100, 49.70 kgs €95, 49 kgs €102, 58.7 kgs €102, 42.30 kgs €91,

 54.30 kgs €102, 41.40 kgs €84, 47.60 kgs €102, 37.10 kgs €82.50.

Wether Lambs: 58.30 kgs €102, 47.10 kgs €98, 44.20 kgs €91, 54.40 kgs €104, 48.50 kgs €95, 54 kgs €100.

  Ram Lambs: 58.50 kgs €100, 44.50 kgs €95, 54.80 kgs €101, 43.60 kgs €85.50, 46 kgs €90, 42.70 kgs €82, 49.10 kgs €99.

Cast ewes made from €65 to €125 per lot.            

Dates for your Diary

Friday November 6th: Usual sale of bullocks, heifers and dry cows at 11 am.

Saturday November 7th: Premier show and sale of pedigree Simmentals. 54 Bulls and 107 Heifers. Show at 8.30 am and sale at 12 Noon.

Friday November 13th: Special sale of continental bullocks.

Saturday November 14th: Irish shorthorn premier beef shorthorn show & sale.

Tuesday November 17th: Special sale of weanlings – Bookings accepted up to 5 pm on Tuesday November 10th, Wednesday November 11th and Thursday November 12th.

Friday November 20th: Special sale of continental heifers– Bookings accepted up to 5 pm. on Tuesday November 10th, Wednesday November 11th and Thursday November 12th. Also bullocks and dry cows.

Sheep fencing now eligible for grant aid

Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins warmly welcomes the Budget announcement of the reintroduction of sheep fencing as a measure available under the TAMS 11 scheme.

  Cllr. Hopkins said: “I have made a large number of representations on behalf of constituents requesting this measure to be included in TAMS 11.

  “Roscommon and Galway have a very high percentage of sheep farmers and sheep fencing by its nature must be regularly maintained and replaced which is a costly exercise.

  “So I am delighted TAMS 11 is now available to support this investment.”

  The first tranche of the TAMS 11 scheme for farmers who qualify for the 40 per cent grant is due to close on Friday, October 30, with further tranches due to take place every three months.

  Farmers and their advisers have been working very hard over the last few months preparing the required documentation for eligible applications.

  Cllr. Hopkins said: “Decisions on available funding, repayment capacity for loans associated with investments, location of investments, their size, preferred design and number of animals to be accommodated all need to made very carefully.

  “Investment in the farm business is a big decision and it must receive the requisite level of analysis before deciding to proceed.”

  Budget 2016 has seen a €35.8 million allocation for TAMS 11, where farmers can avail of a 40 per cent grant for on farm investment with a 60 per cent grant available for eligible young farmers.

 

Hopkins’ mixed views on Budget for farmers

Fine Gael councillor Maura Hopkins has welcomed the budget allocation of €203 million to support agricultural environmental schemes in 2016.

  She said: “The €142 million allocated to Glas has the potential to facilitate an additional 13,000 new participants with funding available for a total of approximately 40,000 GLAS participants in 2016.

  “Glas Tranche 2 has been announced and planners are actively gathering information to commence preparing plans.”

  Cllr. Hopkins said that she was “disappointed that changes were made to some of the more popular options, like a reduction in the maximum area allowed under Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP) to five hectares and removal of the option to select new hedgerow planting”.

  “I have communicated my disappointment to Minister Coveney, encouraging him to negotiate reinstatement of these popular options in tranche 3.”

  Agriculture Minister Simon Minister Coveney said: “On the basis of the 27,000 GLAS plans submitted to date, we have achieved or exceeded RDP targets in some areas such as Low Input Permanent Pasture (LIPP), new hedgerows and traditional orchards.”

  However, Cllr. Hopkins said that she would continue to encourage the Minister to implement maximum flexibility with regard to reinstatement of LIPP and new hedgerows in tranche 3 and also that the necessary funding was secured to ensure the overall target of 50,000 farmers participating in the scheme was achieved and exceeded.

 

Macra welcomes announcement of young farmer top-up/EU dairy package

Macra Annual conference a successful weekend

Macra na Feirme national president Seán Finan has welcomed the announcement of a top-up payment for young dairy farmers from the EU Commission aid package for the dairy sector.

  The announcement was made by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney at the opening ceremony of Macra’s annual conference in Cork last weekend.

  Macra called for the measure following the dairy forum organised by the Minister in September.

  Mr Finan, from Ballinlough, said: “Young farmers are worst effected and under the most pressure from the current pressure on milk price as some are heavily borrowed and in most cases they have not had the opportunity to build up their resources over the last few years that more established operators have and don’t have the means to deal with volatility that we are witnessing at the moment.

  “I welcome that a portion targeting young farmers and new entrants to dairying, who are among the most vulnerable in the current milk price drop, has been introduced.”

  The Macra coopsuperstores.ie annual conference took place from the October 23-26 in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork hosted by Muskerry Macra. Minister Simon Coveney officially opened the conference on Friday.

  EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan addressed the young farmers conference on Saturday. The theme of the conference was “Inspiration for this generation; taking the next step”.

  The conference was also addressed by the Mr  Finan and CEJA president Alan Jagoe.

 

Hopkins hosting farmers’ information evening in Glenamaddy

The national president of Macra na Feirme, Sean Finan, and former minister for lands Paul Connaughton will be guest speakers at a farmers’ information evening that will be held in Glenamaddy on Saturday, November 7, at 4 pm.

  Cllr. Maura Hopkins, Fine Gael’s general election candidate in the Roscommon-Galway constituency, is hosting the event.

  Cllr. Hopkins, together with her colleague Tuam councillor Peter Keaveney, also of Fine Gael, are inviting farmers to attend the event, which will be held at the farm of Brendan Keaveney, Clooncun, Glenamaddy.

  There will be a Q&A session, refreshments will be served and a number of spot prizes will be presented on the evening. Admission is free.

  Cllr. Hopkins said that the event would be held on a suckler and beef farm enterprise which represented the mainstream of progressive farming in the west of Ireland.

  Cllr. Hopkins holds a Level 6 certificate in Agriculture and is involved in the management of her family farm at Edmonstown, Roscommon.

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