• It's emerged that 195 farmers will be directly affected by the proposed Galway City ring road.

    The N6 ring road will run around the city from Barna in the west, to Ballybrit in the East.


    Last month, the Cabinet approved the Galway City ringroad development, and announced that - in total - 1,000 compulsory purchase order letters would be issued.

    The Irish Farmers Journal reports that an environmental impact assessment submitted to An Bord Pleanala shows 195 farms are directly affected by the proposed road development.

    The main farm enterprises along the proposed ringroad route are beef and sheep farms -with these lands assessed as having a low to medium sensitivity to the devleopent.

    However, there is one high-sensitivity beef enterprise and two high-sensitivity dairy enterprises along the route.

    Also, the Galway Racecourse is classified as very high sensitivity, due to the equine enterprise and its regional importance.

    In total, 6 dairy farms, 119 beef farms and 4 sheep farms are in some way affected by the proposed road.

    For the environmental impact assessment, the agricultural study area consisted of 195 land parcels and 1,096 hectares of land - of which 219 hectares is within the proposed development boundary.


  • Irish farmers are furious over a new free-trade deal with South America.

    The Mercosur agreement paves the way for imports of cheaper beef from South America across the EU.

    IFA President Joe Healy says it's bad news for Ireland, for consumers and for the environment.

  • Farmers from across the region travelled to Co Leitrim today to protest at what they claim is an “unworkable” fodder support scheme.

    Mayo, Galway, Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim farmers were all represented at the demonstration which took place at Department of Agriculture offices in Drumshanbo, with farmers calling for the immediate introduction of a meal voucher scheme for those experiencing fodder shortages.

    The protest was organised by the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, who say the Agriculture Minister has ignored the principal recommendation of the fodder committee, which was for a meal voucher scheme.

    While the Minister did deliver a transport subsidy, its restrictive nature means it will not deliver for most farmers, according to National President Colm O’Donnell.

    He wants licenced hauliers who traditionally source quality fodder to be involved in the transport subsidy scheme, and he’s calling for a change to the 100km zone for sourcing fodder.

    The INHFA is also calling for square bales of hay and straw to be included in the scheme, and for local Agri stores to be added to the scheme where there is no Co-op in the area.

    The organisation is calling on Minister Michael Creed to reconvene the fodder action group to address the problems with the scheme designed by his Department and the co-operatives.

  • ICMSA Deputy President Lorcan McCabe has advised farmers that the preliminary checks system for BPS applications aimed at notifying applicants of any non-compliance in the areas of overclaims, dual claims, and overlaps is currently under way and will close in the next week.  Mr McCabe said that farmers can rectify any such non-compliance by the deadline of midnight 19 June with no penalty applied where the non-compliance issue is fully rectified by that date. He said that ICMSA is urging all farmers to check their BPS online accounts immediately. 

    “Where a farmer is signed up for text message alerts, a text will issue to advise them that they have a notification on their BPS account.  All notifications and responses can only be made via the online BPS system”, he said, going on to point out that given that there was 100% online BPS application in 2018, these checks should benefit to farmers by increasing the efficiency with which BPS applications can be processed, ICMSA has repeatedly stressed that there should be no delay in informing farmers if there is a further issue with their application and this must be done as soon as possible so that farmers can respond and get the issue resolved well in advance of the payment date.  

    “In the context of the extremely difficult year farmers have had to date, it’s critical that the ANC payment is made in September, the BPS payment in October and that all farmers must receive their payment within the Farmers Charter timeframe commitment. We do also think that the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine must seek the maximum possible advance payment as cashflow is - and will continue to be  - a major issue on farms and it would help massively if a 70% advance payment at a minimum is secured”,  said Mr McCabe.


  • With the silage season almost in full swing,  the ICMSA is appealing for all rural road users to be aware of extra tractors and machinery on roads over the next six weeks or so.

    With agricultural machinery getting bigger over the years, it's important that all roads users take extra care in the coming weeks - particularly on narrow rural roads.

    Denis Drennan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee, says farmers and contractors should be mindful of other road users, while motorists need to leave extra time to reach their destination in case they get stuck behind machinery.

    Speaking with Midwest News, he said all road users need to take extra precautions to ensure silage can be harvested safely without any road collisions.

  • The INHFA is advising farmers who want to tax their jeeps commercially in Mayo that they need to bring one of two specific forms with them.

    Gerry Loftus told Midwest News that the tax office cannot process commercial tax with just a herd or flock number. Up to this point, they were allowing some instances of this through, but it was only to accommodate the farmers and at the discretion of the staff.

    However, according to regulations, farmers are required to bring their tax cert with them so they can tax their jeep commercially. They can also produce their online receipt for their farm payments like the ANC or Single Farm Payment.

    Gerry Loftus told Midwest News that he sought the information to clear up the matter for farmers who had been in touch with the INHFA.

  • The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association is holding a rally in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny on Friday next (January 25th) at 8pm.

    The rally is being held to highlight changes in the next round of CAP payments, which the INHFA say will have a huge impact on farmers in the next 6 years.

    INHFA National President Colm O’Donnell says the new conditions farmers will have to adhere to in order to get their Basic Payment are a cause of concern.

    Mr O’Donnell also says the Areas of Natural Constraint review and proposals will also be discussed on the night.

  • It has been announced that the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers’ Association has reached an agreement to supply 400 light lambs per week to Kepak Athleague.

    The INHFA confirmed this news at their recent AGM.

    The organisation have emphasised that this is a partnership effort between the farmers, Kepak and Bord Bia.

    Gerry Loftus of the INHFA says that for the last 10 years or more, there has been no light lamb quoted for by any factory.

    The INHFA will be supplying 400 light lambs a week to Kepak, from a carcass weight of 10kg to 15kg,starting on August 1.

  • Minister Michael Creed appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriclture, Food and the Marine yesterday, to brief the Committee on the fodder crisis.

    The meeting was requested by Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin last week, during the parliamentary recess, in order to address the issue.

    Minister Creed confirmed that he will be meeting with the main banks in order to ensure that farmers can access credit during this time and also confirmed that the €1.5m limit on the fodder support scheme would be raised, should it be necessary to continue the support.

    Members of the committee also raised the issue of inspections and the added pressure that they could bring at this time. It was suggested that a case be made for inspections to be waived under the fodder shortage is resolved. Flexibility in relation to credit was also cited as vital and meal vouchers were another subject raised as an option for farmers who fields are still too water-logged for grass to grow and who cannot put their animals out to grass yet.

    The Committee members welcomed the assistance measures announced by the Minister, which include extending the closing dates for various schemes and greater operational flexibility for road hauliers engaged in the transport of fodder.

  • Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed announced today that he has extended the duration of both the Fodder Import and Fodder Transport support measures for an additional week. These measures which were scheduled to conclude on Monday April 30th will now run until Monday 7th May.

    The Minister said ''While the weather has improved and grass growth continues to improve significantly, there are farmers in some parts of the country who still need to locate fodder for their animals. Having reviewed the situation and listened to the views of members of the representative fodder group I established in March, I have decided that extending the closing date for the two measures for one further week is appropriate”.

    Demand for fodder has reduced significantly. However, there remain some areas where land is not yet sufficiently dry to graze livestock and there is still a short term demand for fodder.

    Concluding, Minister reaffirmed that ‘these measures are effectively addressing issues around fodder availability”.

    The Minister reminded farmers that the animal welfare emergency assistance continues to operate where animal welfare is seriously at risk via the emergency helpline numbers – Call Save  0761 064408 or phone 01 6072379.


  • A new revamped Common Agriculture Policy is set to favour small and young farmers. 

    The European Commission has announced its proposals for 2021 to 2027 which include a new agri-environmental scheme and a 2 percent fund for young farmers. 

    It says the plans is to modernise and simply the CAP with a budget of 365 billion euro. 

    European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan admits there will be less money available to farmers but says there's greater flexibility.

  • Over 1200 farmers are expected to attend the Irish Farmers Journal Beef Summit in Co Galway next week.

    The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Bord Bia, Teagasc, and Meat Industry Ireland are among the speakers who will address the conference at the Shearwater Hotel in Ballinasloe next Thursday 9th May.

    The summit is being held at a time when the Irish suckler beef industry is at a critical juncture, with many farmers looking at alternative options of farming.

    The Irish Farmers Journal says the event will bring togther Ireland's beef industry policymakers and power players, and will hep farmers make plans for the future.


  • A recent statement by the Minister for Agriculture that would see farmers held responsible for wildfires they have not lit could result in farmers restricting access to their property, which would clearly impact on hill walking.

    That’s according to the Mayo Chairman of the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association.

    Gerry Loftus has called on Minister Creed to retract the statement.

    He says hill farmers in Co Mayo have payments held up due to a fire which someone else was convicted of lighting, but the farmers are the ones suffering.

    The Mayo Chair of the INHFA says the Minister’s action could result in closing the hills to walkers, as farmers will need to assess what public access to their property means.

  • A sit-in protest by farmers at the Department of Agriculture ended late last night, after a deal was reached between the IFA and the Minister.

    The farmers were demonstrating against the practice of 'trimming'.

    It involves meat factories trimming animal carcasses before they're weighed - and means farmers get paid less than they should.

    The Department of Agriculture has agreed to name and shame meat processors who carry out trim offences.

    Affected farmers will also be compensated.