farming news

  • Next Monday 19th August is the opening date for the new financial assistance scheme for beef and suckler farmers.

     Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has confirmed that the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure will be open for applications from next Monday 19th August to the 8th September, and applications can be made online only at

    The €100 million euro scheme is being funded by the EU and Irish Government, in light of the difficult circumstances Irish beef farmers have been facing as a result of market volatility and Brexit uncertainty.

    Minister Creed says the scheme is targeted towards farmers most affected.

    Aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between 25th Sept last year and 12th May this year at a rate of €100 per animal.

    Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018 at a rate of €40 per animal.

    Only dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows are eligible.




  • Organisers of the National Ploughing Championships hope overall attendance figures could exceed 300-thousand.

    The three day event in Carlow comes to an end this evening.

    Temperatures could hit 22 degrees this afternoon

    The winners of the actual ploughing competitions will be announced later.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadker and Fianna Fail leader Mícheal Martin are among those attending in Fenagh today.





  • The President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association Patrick Kent has resigned, following a meeting of the organisation yesterday evening.

    It comes after the Irish Independent revealed that Mr Kent had accepted being named on MEP candidate Mick Wallace's replacement list.

    Patrick Kent announced his intention to step down from his position as leader of ICSA with immediate effect at a meeting of the association’s National Executive yesterday evening.

    Mr Kent has held the position since 2014, having been re-elected twice during that time.

    He had insisted he is "apolitical" despite being named by Independents 4 Change MEP candidate Mick Wallace on his replacement list.

    Mr Wallace, who is running for an MEP seat in the South constituency, named Mr Kent in his list of five replacements in the event he is elected and later cannot fulfil the role.

    Mr Kent, however, had said he is "not politically active and doesn’t believe he’s nailing his colours to any political mast.

    He said the phone call from Mr Wallace had "come out of the blue" and he has only met the candidate three times.



  • Sheep farmers are facing additional costs of almost €2 million euro per year, as a result of the decision to impose compulsory electronic tagging on all sheep from the 1st October next.

    The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed announced the move last week, but farming organisations are unhappy with the level of consultation with them ahead of announcing the decision, and the costs involved for the 35,000 sheep farmers across the country.

    The IFA National Sheep Committee delegation, led by Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy, met with Minister Creed and his officials yesterday to outline their concerns in relation the electronic tagging.

    Séan Dennehy is the IFA National Sheep Chairman  - he says the sheep committee will meet tomorrow and will then make a submission to the Minister, at his request.

    Speaking to Midwest News, Mr Dennehy said the additional cost burden on farmers is their biggest concern…

  • The Irish Farmers Association has reached a settlement with its former Secretary General Pat Smith for €1.9 million.

    The settlement comes ahead of a High Court case which was due to get underway next week.

    Pat Smith worked for the organisation for 26 years and was IFA Chief Executive for 7 years until he resigned amid a pay controversy in late 2015.

    He took two cases against the Irish Farmers Association - one relating to his severance package and one alleging he was defamed.  

    The IFA has now agreed to pay €1.55 million in respect of the severance package and €350,000 in relation to the defamation.

  • Members of the Irish Farmers Association will meet with the Agriculture Minister later today.

    It's part of farmers' ongoing campaign to secure a better price for their animals from meat processors.

    IFA members have been blockading supermarket distribution centres over the past week to highlight their frustration, with last night's protest outside Dunnes Stores in Cornelscourt in Dublin lasting until the early hours.

  • The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed should remove the 5% reduction requirement as a condition for entry in to the €100 million beef support scheme - that's according to the Irish Natura & HillFarmers Association.

    The closing date for the Beef Exceptional Aid Measure has been extended until Sunday week 15th Sept, due to the low number of applications from eligible farmers.

    Colm O'Donnell, President of the INHFA believes the lower than expected uptake us is due to the conditions attached, particularly the reduction requirement, and has called on Minister Creed to remove this requirement....

  • The introduction of compulsory electronic tagging of sheep from 1st October next is unworkable, according to the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association, which has called for the starting date to be deferred.

    The farming group also says that, if Minister Michael Creed persists with the October 1st start date, a derogation would be required for all lambs traded before this with a single conventional tag.

    Vice-President of the Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association Brendan Joyce says his two main concerns with the Minister's decision to introduce compulsory electronic tagging from the start of October are the timing, and the cost.



  • The Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has announced details of the €100 million Beef Exceptional Aid Measure for Irish farmers.

    The funding is being provided by the EU and the Irish Government in recognition of the difficult circumstances beef farmers are experiencing as a result of market volatility and the uncertainty arising from Brexit.

    Aid will be paid on adult cattle slaughtered between 24th Spet 2018 and May 12th 2019 at a rate of €100 per animal, subject to a maximum of 100 finished animals per herd.

    Aid will also be paid on suckler cows that calved in 2018.

    Dairy herds are not eligible for the assistance - with the exception of dairy herds of less than 40 dairy cows.

    The scheme will open for applications during the third week of August, and applications will be accepted online through

    Mayo FG Senator Michelle Mulherin has welcomed the new fund to assist suckler farmers, who she says are the lifeblood of this region.

    However, the IFA says substantially more funding and supports will be needed for the beef sector, given the increasing threat of a no-deal Brexit.

    While welcoming the scheme announced today which covers losses between September and May, IFA President Joe Healy says unfortunately prices have deteriorated much further since May, with base prices down €160 per head.

    He's calling for further direct aid support for farmers to deal with losses incurred since May.

    The ICMSA says the decision to exclude dairy farmers with herds of over 40 cows from the new scheme is unjust and unfair and sets a dangerous precedent.


  • The 16th president of the IFA will be elected later today.

    Counting of votes begins this morning for a successor to Joe Healy, as the IFA elections for 2019 come to a close.

    The three candidates for the presidency are John Coughlan, Tim Cullinan and Angus Woods.

    The results of four elections - those of president, deputy president and Connacht and Munster chairs - will be revealed later.



  • The Road Safety Authority and Irish Farmers Association are urging road users to take extra care, as the number of tractors, trailers and other farm machinery is increasing on roads, as farmers and contractors undertake the first cut of silage.

    Motorists are being urged to be on the look-out for tractors, trailers and other farm machinery exiting from fields and farmyards, and to expect the unexpected.

    Farmers and contractors are reminded that they are subject to all road traffic legislation, and their vehicles must be taxed, insured and roadworthy - including fully operational lights front and rear.

    Drivers of agricultural vehicles are also reminded to wash down the wheels regularly to avoid carrying mud and stones onto public roads, not to overload trailers causing them to be unstable on the road, and to look out for low bridges, overhanging trees, overhead cables and uneven road surfaces that could cause the load to shift and possibly overturn.

    ESB Networks has also issued a safety message today, reminding farmers and silage contractors of the risks associated with working near overhead electricity wires, as contact with live wires can be fatal.


  • With a status yellow rainfall warning in place, a Roscommon TD is calling for an extension to the slurry spreading deadline.

    As is stands, tomorrow is the last day farmers will be allowed to spread slurry this year, with the closed period coming to an end in January.

    Independent Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice says Irish farmers have had to put up with consistent rainfall since early August, and he's calling on Ministers Michael Creed and Eoghan Murphy to grant an extension....

  • The Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy will officially open the 64th IFA annual general meeting tomorrow at the Irish Farm Centre at Bluebell in Dublin.

    Mr Healy will give the opening address at 12 noon tomorrow.

    Taoiseach Leo Varadker, Agriculture Minster Michael Creed, the Minister for Communications and Climate Action Richard Bruton and representatives from the EPA and Teagasc are among the speakers taking part in the two-day conference.



  • Phil Hogan has been nominated for a second term as European Commissioner by the Taoiseach.

    Leo Varadkar said the nomination was an endorsement of the last five years Mr Hogan has spent in Europe.

    He's praised him as a skilled negotiator who's been good for Ireland when it comes to Brexit.

    Phil Hogan held the Agriculture and Rural Affairs brief for the past five years but may seek a more influential portfolio this time around.


  • Teagasc has set up a new telephone helpline to assist farmers during the Covid-19 crisis.

    The dedicated helpline will provide advice to farmers on a range of issues they face, as they continue to work to maintain the food supply chain.

    The helpline number of 076 - 111 3533 and is open office hours, Monday to Friday.

    Teagasc says the helpline is open to all farmers for a range of issues they face on a day to day basis.