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Sheep Management, Post Weaning

• Practically all lambs should be weaned (14 weeks old) by now.

• Lamb thrive best if they graze grass between 6-8 cms tall. Grass/clover swards are particularly good for lambs.

• Move lambs regularly to new fields and let thin ewes or other stock graze out the remaining grass in each field.

• Worm control/dosing decisions should be made after having lamb faecal samples analysed for worm egg counts. Otherwise, it may be wasted money/labour and may also lead to quicker development of worm resistance to the particular anthelmintic being used.

• Cobalt drenching may be required on many farms.

• Keep lameness under control by regular foot bathing.

• Research work and farmer experience have clearly indicated that ewes in the correct body condition at mating produce more lambs and have a more compact lambing pattern.

• At weaning, divide ewes into two groups. One group will be those that need to put on weight and the other group will be ewes that just need to maintain their present body condition.

• Light/thin ewes may need to put on between 10-15 kgs liveweight (i.e. a full body condition score) before mating so as to reach their potential in terms of lambs produced next year. On average, they may only gain about 1.5 kgs per week if on good grass. Take action now!

 

Farming critical to Africa’s poor – IFA

Farming is critical to efforts to lift Africa’s poorest countries out of poverty, IFA President Eddie Downey said on a visit to Ethiopia in the past week.

  Eddie Downey said: “The experience and the struggle of farmers in Ethiopia is just the same as the journey that we made in rural Ireland a century ago. The solutions that are being put into place today are the same as those that spurred Ireland’s economic development”.

  Visiting development projects being implemented by the IFA’s chosen charity, Gorta-Self Help Africa, Mr. Downey said that the creation of successful farmers’ cooperatives is essential if small-scale African farmers are to move from subsistence farming.

  “In regions where few have their own transportation, and hardly any small farms have electricity, it is only by working together that farmers will be able to increase their incomes,” he added.

“We saw this in Ireland, when the agricultural cooperative movement transformed the lives of thousands of farming families. It is the same in Africa today.”

  Mr. Downey said that up to 80% of the rural poor in Africa relied on small-scale farming for their survival, and that most of the farms in the region, with investment and education, have the potential to grow much more.

  “African agricultural has great potential. There are huge untapped markets – both domestically and regionally. When you see the work that organisations like Gorta-Self Help Africa are doing to support agricultural production and organisation, and look at the potential markets that exist for produce, it is easy to see the vital role that farmers have to play in economic development,” he said.

  “Cities in Africa are growing rapidly, and creating a ready market for the goods that farmers produce. Allied to this, trade between neighbouring countries in Africa is only a fraction of that between European states. When you consider the potential for production with the market opportunities, African farmers greatly value the support of organisations such as Gorta-Self Help Africa and are optimistic for the future,” the IFA President said.

 

‘We have to preserve our small family farms’ – Fitzmaurice

 Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called on the Government to do more to relieve the financial pressure on small farmers.

 

  His call comes in light of a Teagasc report, released last week, which found that just 34 per cent of farms in the west of Ireland are financially viable, even if the farmer has another part-time job.

  Deputy Fitzmaurice said: “This report is further evidence to support what I have been saying all along about the direction of Government and EU policy on farming.

  “The reality is that Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 funding must be directed more towards the small family farm.

  “Any CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) review must address the imbalance that exists currently.

  “The big farmers and ranchers are favoured at present, while the small family farms are losing out and the gap is widening all the time.

  “This is a matter that I will continue to pursue. We have to preserve our small family farms, which are the bedrock of local rural communities.”

Roscommon Macra competes in FBD farm skills

The second of three semi-finals for Macra’s FBD Farmskills Competition took place on July 4th at the Bailieboro Show. South Roscommon Macra took part in the semi-final but didn’t make it through to the national final.

  Moynalty Macra, Co. Meath and Knockbride, Co. Cavan qualified for the national final which will take place at the Tullamore Show on the 9th August.

  The competition tests proficiency in several aspects of farm skills, from tractor skills to fencing.

  The aim of the competition is to help young farmers develop various farm skills and techniques, to demonstrate to the public the skill required in modern farming, and to create greater awareness of farm safety.

 

Flexibility required on commonage plan guidelines – IFA

Following a meeting of the National Hill Committee, and recent discussions with the Department of Agriculture, IFA Hill Chairman Pat Dunne said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney will have to set out the framework to planners to allow them carry out commonage plans that contain flexibilities for farmers.

  Pat Dunne reminded the minister of the commitments given to IFA before the Rural Development Plan was submitted to Brussels that no farmer would be excluded from GLAS.

  “Commonage farmers must be given maximum flexibility to ensure that they can join the GLAS scheme. In addition, there may still be farmers who are in AEOS 2 and 3 who do not want to change over at the moment and the scheme must remain open in 2016 and 2017 for them.”

  The Hill Farming Chairman said 4,000 commonage farmers have joined GLAS so far and many more will join the scheme when their AEOS 1 plans are completed at the end of this year.

  The priority now for the Department is to get the commonage planning process underway with the issuing of guidelines to planners. Pat Dunne said the end-of-August deadline for the completion of plans is too tight and will have to be extended.

  The Hill farming leader also pointed out that the stocking level to gain entry at both the minimum and maximum level must be applied in a flexible manner.

  The planner must be given the opportunity to override the published figures on the Department website. To meet the stocking rate criteria under GLAS, farmers must be given a five-year period in which to achieve this.

 

Mart Reports - 24th July

Roscommon Mart Report

Friday, July 17th: There was a good entry of stock at last Friday’s sale. The positivity is still very evident around the ring with prices for bullocks on par to last week. There was a similar trade for heifers and dry cows from the previous week.

  Date for your diary is a show and sale of autumn born weanlings which will be held on Tuesday August 11th at 5 pm. A special sale of bullocks and heifers takes place on Friday August 14th at 11 am. 

  New booking arrangements – please note as and from 1st August bookings for all special sales will be accepted up to 5 pm. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the week prior to the sale. The draw for the pens will take place on Thursday at 5 pm. e.g. bookings for weanling sale on 11th August will be accepted on Tuesday 4th August, Wednesday 5th August and Thursday 6th August. Draw for pens on Thursday August 6th.

  New draw system for starting pen on sale days: The draw for the starting pen will be made at 10.45 am on Fridays and 4.45 pm on Tuesdays. The first number drawn will be the starting pen and a second draw will be made to determine whether the draw will go up or down.

  Dry Cows made from €925 to €1700 per head. Sample prices: Simm X 545 kgs €925, Char X 575 kgs €1100, Char X 790 kgs €1700, Lim X 725 kgs €1555, AAX 780 kgs €1480, SAX 650 kgs €1390, Char X 655 kgs €1460. Lim X 575 kgs €1235.

  Heifers made from €420 to €930 over. Sample prices: Char X 630 kgs €1560, 2 Lim X 580 kgs €1475, 1 Lim X 550 kgs €1440, Lim 370kgs €1205, Lim X 340kgs €1050, 2 Simm X 300 kgs €910, 3 Sh 338 kgs €870, Char X 340 kgs €1050, Lim X 435 kgs €1255, Lim X 435 kgs €1255.

  Bullocks made from €420 to €1080 over. Sample prices: Char X 750 kgs €1830, HEX 630 kgs €1470, BBX 355 kgs €855, Char X 320 kgs €925, Char X 340 kgs €1090, Char X 470 kgs €1160, Char X 475 kgs €1200, 2 Char X 475 kgs €1300, Char X 450 kgs €1200.

Sheep Sale, Wednesday July 22nd: There was another big entry of sheep this week. Once again this week there was large entry of store lambs on offer with average prices a shade better than the previous week. The trade for the heavier type lamb was steady with no significant change in price.

  With continuing good grass growth farmers are very active for store lambs which is helping to keep a floor under the prices. The trade for cast ewes was similar to last week. Weekly sales for sheep continue on Wednesdays at 11 am. Please note commencing Wednesday July 29th ewe lambs will be sold separately to wether/ram lambs. Draw for starting pens commencing Wednesday August 5th, the draw for the starting pen will be held at 10.45 am. A second draw will take place to determine whether the draw will go up or down.

  Sample prices: ram lambs: 47.30 kgs €103, 41.30 kgs €87.50, 47.30 kgs €103, 49 kgs €101, 57.40 kgs €107, 39 kgs €87, 44.50 kgs €96, 52.1 kgs €105, 39.20kgs €84. Ewe lambs: 42.40 kgs €113, 38.80 kgs €93, 43.4 kgs €110, 49.90 kgs €104, 36 kgs €86.50, 39.30 kgs €89.50, 43.50 kgs €94, 50 kgs €111, 48.80 kgs €104, 40.50 kgs €98, 53.80 kgs €114.

  Mixed lambs: 44.40 kgs €88, 40.30 kgs €87, 49.60 kgs €105, 46.80 kgs €95, 48.60 kgs €95, 43.40 kgs €91, 45 kgs €93, 42.70 kgs €89, 38.90 kgs €87. Wether lambs: 35.70 kgs €80, 38.50 kgs €86, 43.50 kgs €91. Cast ewes made from €74 to €116 per lot.           

 

Castlerea Mart Report

Thursday 16th May: There were 600 cattle on offer with bigger numbers of bullocks and weanlings presented for sale this week.

  Trade remains very strong for the forward store bullocks and heifers while the lighter stores attracted huge farmer interest this week, resulting in a good clearance.

  Breeding stock and calves also reported excellent clearances with some fancy prices obtained for the top quality lots.

  Sample prices: bullocks: Ch 440kgs €1365 Lim 430kgs €1220 Ch 540kgs €1510 Ch 570kgs €1525 Sim 720kgs €1835 Lim 660kgs €1680 AA 725kgs €1670 Ch 700kgs €1730.

  Heifers: Ch 360kgs €1485 BBX 410kgs €1230 Lim 400kgs €1185 Lim 440kgs €1555 Ch 720kgs €1730 Sim 750kgs €1700. Dry cows: Lim 800kgs €1880 Lim 780kgs €1780 BBX 705kgs €1555 Lim 700kgs €1550. Cows with calves at foot made from €1080 to €2080 for a Ch cow and her BB bull calf.

  Springers made from €1250 to €1150 per head. Calves: Calves made from €210 to €775 for stronger continental types. Weanling bulls: Ch 290kgs €900 Lim 280kgs €865 Lim 250kgs €810 Lim 440kgs €1300 Ch 490kgs €1450. Weanling heifers: Lim 295kgs €945 BB 385kgs €1295 BB 340kgs €1070 Ch 340kgs €1050 Ch 250kgs €835.

  Sales continue at Castlerea Mart on Thursday the 23rd July with a sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am.

 

 

 

Mart Reports

Roscommon Mart Report

Friday, July 10th: Roscommon Mart celebrated its 56th Anniversary sale on Friday last with an outstanding display of stock. There was an excellent entry, buoyant trade, good volume of customers and a high percentage clearance of lots.

  There were customers and agents from Northern Ireland and the UK in attendance also. Compared to the same sale last year, prices of all stock are significantly up.

  The highlight of the sale was when two charolais bullocks, one born in 2011 weighing 1280 kgs fetched €3000 and another, born in 2012 weighing 1130 kgs, made €2950.

  Once again this week dry cows are commanding excellent prices in particular for quality lots. Please note weanlings and suckler cows will be sold on Fridays until further notice. 

  Date for your Diary: Show & Sale of autumn born weanlings will be held on Tuesday August 11th at 5 pm.

  New booking arrangements: Please note as and from 1st August bookings for all special sales will be accepted up to 5 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the week prior to the sale.

  The Draw for the pens will take place on Thursday at 5 pm, e.g. bookings for Weanling Sale on 11th August will be accepted on Tuesday 4th August, Wednesday 5th August & Thursday 6th August. – Draw for pens on Thursday August 6th.

  New Draw System for starting pen on Sale Days: The draw for the starting pen will be made at 10.45 am on Fridays and 4.45 pm on Tuesdays. The first number drawn will be the starting pen and a second draw will be made to determine whether the draw will go up or down.

  Dry cows made from €1070 to €2175 per head. Sample prices: Char 885 kgs €2175, BBX 760 kgs €1880, Lim X 775 kgs €1765, Lim 720 kgs €1720, Char 775 kgs €1550, Lim X 775 €1685, Lim X 655 kgs €1490, BBX 600 kgs €1375, BBX 585 kgs €1245. Heifers made from €555 to €1270 over. Sample pices: Char X 690 kgs €1960, Char X 685 kgs €1800, Char X 565 kgs €1625, Lim X 495 kgs €1550, Lim X 580 kgs €1535, Char X 490 kgs €1470, AA 600 kgs €1535, Char X 465 kgs €1415, 2 Char X 492 kgs €1300, BBX 455 kgs €1290, Simm X 495 kgs €1230, Char X 425 kgs €1280, Lim X 395 kgs €1200, Char X 360 kgs €1100, BBX 415 kgs €1240, Char X 440 kgs €1230.

  Bullocks made from €520 to €1820 over. Sample prices: Char X 1280 kgs €3000, Char X 1130 kgs €2950, Char X 735 kgs €1860, Lim X 705 kgs €1790, Lim X 680 kgs €1750, Char X 655 kgs €1780, 2 Char X 597 kgs €1680, AAX 685 kgs €1620, Simm X 635 kgs €1600, Lim X 570 kgs €1600, 2 Char X 580 kgs €1525, 2 Char X 540 kgs €1520, 2 Lim X 540 kgs €1400, 2 Lim X 380 kgs €1030, Char X 560 kgs €1310, 2 Char X 483 kgs €1365, SAX 390 kgs €1245, AAX 430 kgs €1055, AAX 390 kgs €1030, AAX 450 kgs €1085.

  Weanlings heifers, sample prices: Fr 465 kgs €990, Char X 300 kgs €985, Char X 355 kgs €975, 2 Lim 217 kgs €770, Char X 270 kgs €900, Lim 375 kgs €970.

  Weanling bulls – sample prices: Lim 585 kgs €1545, Lim X 560 kgs €1430, Lim X 450 kgs €1255, Char X 420 kgs €1240, Lim X 295 kgs €910. Char X 275 kgs €850, Char X 350 kgs €1065, Char X 325 kgs €995.

Sheep Sale, Wednesday July 15th: There were large numbers on offer this week. There was a good trade for the store lambs with nice quality ewe lambs making up to €114. The trade for heavier lambs was a little easier but despite this there was a good clearance of lots. The trade for cast ewes was also slightly back on the previous week. Weekly sales for Sheep continue on Wednesdays at 11 am.

Castlerea Mart Report

Thursday 9th July: There were 500 cattle on offer and the strong trade that has existed for the last few weeks has continued with strong farmer activity and increased Northern demand for stock this week.

  This demand was very evident in the bullocks and heifers rings while the dry cows and breeding stock also reported a very lively trade. Weanling and calves are also much sought after at the moment with farmer and exporters driving the trade.

  Sample prices: bullocks: Lim 460kgs €1340 Ch 435kgs €1325 Lim 530kgs €1475 Ch 595kgs €1535 AA 580kgs €1460 Ch 640kgs €1700 Lim 760kgs €1870.

  Heifers: Lim 420kgs €1320 Sim 380kgs €1200 Lim 485kgs €1460 AA 485kgs €1325 Ch 620kgs €1855 Ch 590kgs €1595 BBX 615kgs €1590.

  Dry cows: Lim 700kgs €1780 Ch 695kgs €1770 Lim 735kgs €1650 Lim 700kgs €1600. Cows with calves at foot made from €1210 to €1900 per head. Springer cows made from €1230 to €1350 per head.

  Dairy cows: 15 dairy cows on offer with milkers making from €740 to €1320 and springers made from €980 to €1390 with a full clearance taking place.

  Calves: Stronger type coming on offer at the moment with strong farmer demand. Calves made from €240 to €700 for the continentals on offer. Weanling bulls: Ch 290kgs €940 Ch 270kgs €920 Lim 240kgs €785 BAX 450kgs €1190 BBX 420kgs €1120.

  Weanling heifers: Lim 280kgs €950 Ch 290kgs €895 AAX 260kgs €765 Ch 370kgs €1155 BBX 330kgs €1090 Ch 330kgs €1045 Sim 340kgs €1030.

  Sales continue at Castlerea Mart on Thursday 16th July with a sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves and weanlings on offer. All sales commence at 11 am.

 

 

Reseeding demonstration in Four Roads next week

Top speakers will be present on July 24

Now is the time of year that a farmer may consider autumn reseeding. Many silage and grazing swards now contain high levels of weed grasses. These grasses are not only lower yielding than perennial rye-grass, but they also produce lower quality silage and grazing grass. In this article we will look at the minimum tillage technique of introducing a new grass seed. This technique is a less expensive method than the conventional method of ploughing to introduce a reseed.

  Before reseeding it is important to determine the soil fertility. A soil sample can be taken to your local Teagasc Office that will determine this. For the successful establishment of reseeds, soil fertility must be good. Aim for a soil pH of 6.3 – 6.5, and phosphate and potash indexes of 3.   Therefore, always carry out soil analysis before reseeding. Minimum tillage reseeding involves: Spraying off the old pasture; Two runs of a power harrow to produce a fine and firm seedbed to preserve as much soil moisture as possible; Reseeding and light rolling thus ensuring good seed to soil contact; Fertiliser application to ensure optimal soil P and K indexes are present.

  The management of the reseed is vitally important. All benefits of a reseed can be lost afterwards due to poor soil fertility, poor grassland management (e.g. poaching) and weed infestation hence a post emergence spray is necessary to control weeds. It is important to remember that a new reseed must be properly fertilised and tightly grazed to maintain it productivity in future years.

  A reseeding demonstration regarding minimum tillage techniques will take place on the farm of John Curley, Carntleva, Four Roads on Friday the 24th of July at 11 am. Three different minimum tillage reseeding methods will be on display with speakers available to answer any of your queries. This demonstration is also a STAP qualifying event for those in sheep discussion groups.

 

Novel fundraiser to raise funds for Irish Cancer Society

The families from Scramogue and Ballyforan (pictured) are supporting a highly innovative new initiative, called ‘Wrap it Pink’.

  The focus of this initiative is designed to raise cancer awareness in rural Ireland, as well as raising much-needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

  Farmers all over Ireland are being encouraged to wrap their silage bales in pink this summer. Fields around the country will feature a new bright colour, with farmers using pink wrap to bale their silage.

  The distinctive high-quality, Irish-made wrap is available through Dairygold Co-Op Superstores and, for every bale of wrap purchased, a donation will be made to the Irish Cancer Society.

  “Many farming families throughout Ireland have been affected by cancer and the Irish Cancer Society provides terrific support for sufferers and their families”, said John O’Carroll, Head of retail at Dairygold.

  “We’d love to see farmers embracing this initiative with pink silage bales visible in every parish this summer, knowing that in doing this, we are not just raising cancer awareness but also helping to raise much needed funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

  “Farmers will be buying the black wrap anyway so why not ‘wrap it pink’, brighten up the fields and put a smile on people’s faces. We believe it’s going to be a huge success.”

  The 2015 silage season is already underway, so watch out for fields of pink in your area as a result of this unique partnership between Dairygold and the Irish Cancer Society.

 

Mart Reports

Roscommon Mart Report

Friday, July 3rd: There were smaller numbers on offer. The good trade for all stock continues with price for bullocks on par to last week. There was an excellent trade for heifers and dry cows with improved prices Friday sales continue weekly for bullocks, heifers, weanlings, suckler cows and dry cows at 11 am.

There was a good demand for the nice selection of cows with calves at foot. Once again this week there was a very high clearance of lots with only one lot unsold. Please note weanlings and suckler cows will be sold on Fridays until further notice. Special Anniversary sale of bullocks and heifers takes place on Friday next 10th July – 25 pens of bullocks and 30 pens of heifers on offer.

Also weanlings, suckler cows and dry cows – included in sale 4 simm X cows (1st calf) with 4 strong calves at foot.

Dry cows made from €1000 to €1540 per head. Sample prices: SHX 735 kgs €1540, Simm X 690 kgs €1400, Fr 770 kgs €1365, Fr 665 kgs €1245, AAX 550 kgs €1140, Lim X 550 kgs €1000.

Heifers made from €505 to €925 over. Sample prices: Lim X 545 kgs €1470, Char X 545 kgs €1400, 2 AAX 415 kgs €1135, SHX 385 kgs €1025, Lim X 310 kgs €1015, AAX 360 kgs €985, AAX 370 kgs €935, AAX 330 kgs €835.

Bullocks made from €535 to €700 over. Sample prices: HEX 530 kgs €1130, Lim X 420 kgs €1120, AAX 465 kgs €1000, AAX 395 kgs €920, Lim X 385 kgs €920.

Weanlings heifers sample prices: Char X 355 kgs €1135, Lim X 370 kgs €1000, Lim X 345 kgs €895, Char X 250 kgs €750.

Weanling bulls sample prices: Lim X 395 kgs €1025, Char X 325 kgs €1000, Char X 340 kgs €975, Char X 215 kgs €650. Cows with calves at foot make from €1500 to €2085 per lot.

Sheep Sale, Wednesday July 8th: There were similar numbers on offer this week. There was a better trade for lambs with average prices up by €7 a head from last week.

The prices for cast ewes were on par to last week. Weekly sales for sheep continue on Wednesdays at 11 am.

Show and Premier Show and Sale of Vendeen Sheep (males and females) takes place on Wednesday July 15th at 1.30 pm.

Sample prices: spring lambs: ram lambs: 46.70 kgs €100, 41.30 kgs €90, 38.70 kgs €90.50, 46.70 kgs €96.

Ewe lambs: 47.10 kgs €103.50, 47.60 kgs €105.50, 43.70 kgs €95.

Mixed lambs: 40.50 kgs €87.50, 42.40 kgs €94.50 54.80 kgs €104, 51.80 kgs €107, 43.70 kgs €95, 40.50 kgs €92, 51.20 kgs €106.50, 46.73 kgs €102.

Cast ewes made from €85 to €135 per lot.

Castlerea Mart Report

Thursday 2nd July:There were 500 cattle on offer this week and the lively trade of recent weeks was maintained with strong demand for all classes of stock on offer.

Bullocks and heifers in particular reported a very strong trade with an excellent clearance taking place, while weanlings and breeding stock with strong farmer and exporter activity present also reported very strong prices on the day.

Sample prices – bullocks: Ch 440kgs €1330 Ch 490kgs €1360 Ch 510kgs €1455 Sim 570kgs €1510 AA 600kgs €1535 Lim 820kgs €1900 Ch 670kgs €1625.

Heifers: Ch 365kgs €1195 Lim 395kgs €1175 BBX 460kgs €1390 Ch 460kgs €1335 Ch 665kgs €1890 Ch 605kgs €1600 Ch 520kgs €1460.

Dry cows: Sim 830kgs 41765 Lim 740kgs €1675 Sim 725kgs €1550 Ch 970kgs €2225.

Cows with calves at foot made from €1300 to €2640 for a Lim Cow and her limousin bull calf. Springer cows made from €950 to €1200, with Dairy cows making up to €1200.

Calves: Numbers on offer still remain strong with calves making from €200 to €720 for stronger types.

Weanling bulls: Lim 295kgs €850 BBX 390kgs €1200 Lim 380kgs €1160 BB 385kgs €1200 BB 465kgs €1360.

Weanling heifers: Lim 290kgs €920 BB290kgs €900 BB340kgs €1190 Lim 260kgs €840 Lim 280kgs €860.

Sales continue at Castlerea Mart on Thursday the 9th July with a sale of bullocks, heifers, cows, calves and weanlings. All sales commence at 11 am.

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