• The IFA say there are still a number of farmers in Achill and in Sligo that are awaiting payments which were stopped over fires on their land.

    This saga has been ongoing for the best part of nine months.

    Numerous meetings have taken place over the past while, however there a still a lot of people out of pocket according to Eddie Davitt who is the Rural Development Chairman for the IFA in Sligo.

  • The IFA has written to the Competition Authority seeking an urgent meeting, to clarify the authority's position on cattle prices being discussed at beef talks.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy says the Beef Plan movement were advised that they would have to accept a pre-condition that prices could not be discussed, before entering into the recent talks.

    Those talks ended last week with a deal, which has since been rejected by the Beef Plan movement, and unofficial farmer protests are underway at several meat plants across the country in an effort to ensure better cattle prices.

    The IFA President says it's unclear why such a pre-condition applied, and he's looking for an explanation from the Competition Authority before re-entering any talks.

    Mr Healy believes that talks being held, without price being on the table, is a waste of time and makes a mockery of beef farmers....

  • IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy has called for a meeting between the IFA and factories to discuss price cuts on sheep of up to €11 per head compared with last year.

    A price reduction of up to 7.5 per head, cuts of 50c/kg on heavy lambs €1.27 per head SRM charge and 71c per head of a scrapie charge on ewes account for the fall in price.

    The IFA National Sheep Chairman said farmers cannot accept lamb price cuts when there is little or no change in retail prices.

    The IFA is demanding that carcase weights be immediately moved up to 22 kgs for autumn and that factories introduce a strong Quality Assurance bonus of 30c/kg on lamb.

    Mr. Dennehy told Midwest Radio News that the implementation of excess charges is unacceptable, even in the context of Brexit.

  • 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 IFA will meet with the Minister for Agriculture today amid claims that the factories are cutting lamb prices and plunging the sheep sector into an income crisis.

    IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy says lamb prices and hogget prices are down €1.50 per kg on this time last year - which is equivalent to a price cut of over  €30 per lamb.

    Mr Dennehy says it's a scandal that factories are paying more for old cull ewes than new season spring lamb.

    At their meeting with Minister Creed, the IFA will be asking him to challenge the factories in relation to the price cuts.


  • Concern is mounting over the rising cost of funding the Fair Deal for nursing home care, as demand for the scheme soars.

    According to today's Irish Independent, state spending on the scheme is expected to hit €1bn this year – and the HSE has acknowledged it is monitoring it on a “week-by-week basis”.

    Over 23,200 people are  availing of the Fair Deal, which is above expectations, and its budget was increased by €24 m to €986m this year.

    If Fair Deal exceeds its allocated budget, it is expected the Minister for Older People Jim Daly will be forced to seek emergency extra funding from the Department of Health.

    Mr Daly said demand for the scheme was “outside of expectations in the year so far” and he has requested more data.

    It comes as farmers take to the streets today, saying the lack of fairness in the scheme for them is costing them up to €40,000 a year in nursing home fees.

     IFA President Joe Healy will lead the protest at the Dept of Health this morning at 11am.

  • The Irish Farmers Association has decided to protest outside today's Beef Forum meeting, rather than participating in the forum.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy says his organisation has tried to constructively engage over the past few years at the Beef Forum, which is presided over by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, but claims nothing has been delivered for farmers in the livestock sector.

    The IFA claims the Minister has failed to tackle the beef factories over the loss-making prices on offer to farmers, and says the Government must deliver for the sector in next week's Budget.

  • Beef farmers claim their very survival is at stake because of price cuts brought on by Brexit.

    They say they've already lost over 100 million euro and unless the government steps in, many could go out of business.

    A protest is being held by beef farmers outside a Cabinet meeting in Cork later to highlight their concerns.

    The Galway-Based President of the Irish Farmers Association Joe Healy says his members are very worried:



  • The IFA is advising farmers to take simple steps in this present Covid19 crisis to ensure they are best prepared for whatever happens to them over the next number of weeks and months.

    Roy O’Brien Regional Officer with the IFA says farmers like everyone else need to listen and adhere to the HSE advice regarding hand washing and social distancing.

    In addition they need to have a Farm Plan in place, both short and long term. They need to keep in phone contact with a number of neighbours and have relevant phone numbers to hand and their Eircode number.

    Writing things down rather than relying entirely on memory, Mr O’Brien told Midwest News today, is very important. "Any farmer can contract the virus and may be laid low for a few weeks, and if the notes are written down and readily available it will make it easier for your neighbours to assist. The importance of the long tradition of “meitheal” among the farming community is vital."


  • The IFA is calling on the Agriculture Minister to extend the closing date for the €100 million beef support scheme until after next week's Ploughing Championships, to allow farmers make their application at the Department of Agriculture stand at the ploughing.

    The closing date for Beef Exceptional Aid Measure has already been extended to this Sunday, with a strong level of applications this week.

    The IFA says there's a unique opportunity at the Ploughing Championships next week to get farmers to apply at the Department stand, and they calling on Minister Creed to further extend the closing date and provide this opportunity for farmers- given the severe income crisis in the livestock sector.

  • IFA will hold its National Hill Sheep Forum on Monday in the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport.

    The forum will commence with a visit to the hill sheep farm of Joe Skehill in Sandfield, Westport at 4.30pm.

    The forum will then move to the Castlecourt Hotel where Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will officially open the event at 6.30pm.

    A number of speakers will address the forum, including IFA President Joe Healy and representatives from Bord Bia, Kildare Chilling and the IFA Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy.

    There will also be a discussion forum on the CAP Budget and ANC payments.

  • The Joint Committee on Climate Action has published its cross-party report.

    It reached agreement last night on a number of key climate issues and has recommended a series of carbon tax rises up to 2030.

    Other recommendations focus heavily on transport with emphasis on electrifiying, improving and extending public transport as well as making it cheaper to use.

    While the Irish Farmers Association initially had reservations, the organisation's president, Joe Healy, says it's fair to farmers

  • Mayo's Brendan Golden has been elected Chairman of the IFA's National Livestock Committee.

    The Killala man will succeed outgoing chairman Angus Woods at the IFA AGM on 27th January.

    The National Livestock Committee met in Portlaoise today to elect a new Chair.



  • The Fianna Fail-Fine Gael proposal to introduce a land price cap is 'totally against' the property rights of farmers.

    That’s the view of IFA President Tim Cullinan, after it emerged that the two parties would look to hold a referendum on the matter after forming a government.

    The IFA president says the association is opposed to changes in constitutional property rights, whether they are brought in by legislation or a referendum.

    Mr Cullinan added that the IFA would not allow the housing problem to be used to diminish the property rights of farmers, as there are almost 2,000 hectares of land under State ownership which could address that issue.

    He also criticised the Framework document for government between the parties, saying it lacks commitments on defending the Common Agricultural Policy, or trying to improve farm viability.

    Mr Cullinan told Midwest News that any attempt to pay less than the open market value for land and associated compensation, will be strongly opposed by the farm organisation.

  • A Mayo farmer has been elected the new chairman of the IFA’s National Liquid Milk Committee.

    Keith O’Boyle, a father of three from Hollymount, produces fresh milk for Aurivo, and farms with his wife and family in Hollymount.

    The voting was conducted via postal ballot due to Covid-19.

    Saying it’s an honour to be elected, Mr O'Boyle also said he believes the lockdown has given consumers a greater appreciation for locally produced, fresh, nutritious foods like milk and cream. We need to grasp this renewed understanding of the importance of primary producers, and ensure that it is never again taken for granted," he said.

    The Hollymount farmer says he will work in co-operation with the other IFA committees, especially the retail team, to put pressure on the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that liquid milk producers receive a fair share of retail returns. We urgently need the full implementation of the new Grocery Goods Regulations, including the prohibition of below-cost selling, and the promise in the new Programme for Government, long sought by IFA, of an independent Ombudsman to enforce them.

    With the support of the National Liquid Milk Committee, Keith says he will be developing a strategy for liquid milk over the summer.



  • Farmers are calling for improved Government supports to deal with the continuing fodder shortage.

    IFA representatives from across Connacht met last night in Roscommon to discuss the problems being experienced by farmers along the western seaboard.

    They’ve called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to introduce a scheme to assist farmers who cannot access fodder.

    They also want a suspension of all farm inspections until the crisis passes.

    Chairman of the Mayo branch of the IFA Martin Gilvarry says a meal voucher scheme would be the most effective way for farmers across the West to ensure the well-being of their livestock….

  • Officers of Mayo IFA and IFAC Accountants met with representatives of the Mayo Motor Tax Office in Castlebar last week to try and get some clarification of the registration of commercial vehicles for agricultural use.

    The delegation included Chairman of Mayo IFA Martin Gilvarry, Roy O’Brien of the IFA Regional Executive and Martin Clarke from IFAC Accountants in Balla.

    Following discussions agreement was reached on the text covering the registration of such vehicles.

    A farmer and herd owner for bovine and/or sheep, you may submit documentary evidence from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine showing your name, address and herd number. The document must be less than 2 years old.

    Sheep farmers must submit proof of payment from the Department for a minimum flock size of 20 sheep.

    Alternatively proof of payment from the Department under the Basic Payment Scheme, Areas of Natural Constraint, GLAS or Organic Farming Scheme will suffice.

  • The Minister for Communications Climate Action and the Environment Richard Bruton is in Mayo today for a number of official engagements.

    This morning Minister Bruton  is at GMIT in Castlebar hosting a Climate Action Forum

    The Minister is not for turning on the provision of a new on line Green Schools pack produced by An Taisce - promoting climate change advice, despite the IFA’s opposition to it as farmers claim it promotes veganism. The school  pack talks about reducing the consumption of meat and dairy in our diet.

    Speaking to Midwest News this morning the Minister was adamant that censorship is not the answer. He said young people would not appreciate not being able to discuss what they eat and its impact on the environment.

    He said that when he was young there was always one day in the week that meat was off the menu and that was replaced by fish.

  • Galway East TD and Minister of State Séan Canney has got involved in the row over the Green Schools teaching resource pack, which encourages schoolchildren to reduce their meat and dairy intake, and introduce Meatless Mondays.

    The issue was raised during the week by the IFA, who claimed An Taisce had overstepped their remit, and said the information contradicted advice from the Department of Health which says meat and dairy are essential for a balanced, healthy diet.

    Speaking on Midwest News on Friday, the Minister for Climate Action Richard Bruton said he would not withdraw the teacher resource pack, as this would amount to censorship.

    However, Minister Séan Canney says An Taisce has gone over the top in encouraging children to reduce their meat and dairy intake.

    He says the proposed lesson plan by An Taisce contradicts nutritional advice from the Department of Health and is also at odds with the EU School Milk Scheme.

    Minister Canney also says farmers are being unfairly scape-goated, at a time when they're leading the way on climate action.


  • The Agriculture Minister has allowed some trading to continue at marts - despite the Covid-19 crisis.

    The Irish Farmers Association has welcomed this morning's announcement.

    Normal mart activity was banned last weekend when the Taoiseach's announced new restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    But this morning, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says some services can continue at marts.

    He says mart managers can facilitate the sale of animals in some circumstances.

    A farmer can deliver calves to the mart, by appointment, and the mart can facilitate the sale.

    For older livestock, the mart can also allow a deal between a buyer and seller, in specific circumstances.

    Minister Creed says the measures will allow the food chain to be maintained - and protect animals' welfare.

    But he says normal mart auction activity can't resume until further notice.