• More than 400 people attended hospital with a trauma as a result of a farming accident between 2014 and 2016.

    The average age was 54, but those injured ranged from under one years of age, to 93.

    The new research coincides with the start of Farm Safety Week, which aims to reduce the number of accidents on farms.

    14 people have died on farms in Ireland so far this year - while there were 19 deaths in 2019.

    President of the Irish Farmers Association, Tim Cullinan, who's visiting farms in Mayo today, told Midwest News that farming has one of the most inadequate safety records of any sector in this country.....

  • 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.



  • Only two applications have been submitted for the recently announced Fodder Transport Scheme, and according to IFA Connacht Regional Chairman Padraic Joyce, the miniscule level of applications made is clear evidence that the scheme is not working. 

    Speaking to Midwest News Mr Joyce said that with  this level of take-up of the scheme, despite obvious and ongoing fodder difficulties on a significant number of farms, it is clear that a rethink is needed and Minister Creed must come forward with a more meaningful scheme to include meal vouchers, which have proven successful in the past during times of fodder shortage. 

    Fodder shortages are likely to become even more apparent now following the recent storm as fodder that would have been available from the south and south-east of the country may be less plentiful.

  • A conference in Dublin heard today that potato growers are getting less than one-fifth of the price a consumer pays for their product in the shop.

    Speaking at the National Potato Conference, the Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy outlined how retailers are taking the lion’s share of the margin on potatoes, while farmers bear all of the risk.

    The conference organised by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in association with Bord Bia and Teagasc, heard that pre-pack potatoes are retailing at up to €1,400 per tonne while growers receive less than one-fifth of that. 

    The IFA President claims many potato growers are having to sell their crop for less than it costs to produce.

    Joe Healy said stronger retail regulation and an independent retail ombudsman are needed to ensure farmers get a fairer share of the retail price, and to support a sustainable food supply chain.

    The conference heard today that potato sales are now at their highest level in the past ten years  -and potatoes are bought once every second in Irish retailers.

     208,000 tonnes of potatoes were sold in Ireland last year.

  • A public meeting takes place this evening at 8.30pm in the Community Centre in Kilmaine on rural crime prevention.

    The meeting is organised by the local IFA branch, and gardai and FBD representatives will be in attendance.

    Roy O’Brien Regional Executive of the IFA told Midwest News today that everyone is invited to attend.

  • Factories need to realise that a finished lamb needs to be securing a price of at least 100 euro for the farmer. That’s according to IFA Connaught Regional Chairman Padraig Joyce.

    Sheep farmers are demanding a worthwhile premium of 30 cent  per kg for Quality Assurance meat.

    Mr Joyce says if the factories want Quality Assured lamb, they must they must be prepared to pay a reasonable price for it, as farmers will not do all the work and fail to be appropriately paid for Quality Assurance.

    He’s been outlining his concerns to Midwest Radio.

  • 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.



  • Supermac’s has committed to spending €32million on Irish farm produce in 2018. 

    The increase spend is largely driven by the expansion plans of the group with 6 new stores opening throughout the country in the 1st half of 2018 bringing the total number  of outlets to 114 with a number of others in planning.

    The announcement was made following a meeting with IFA President, Joe Healy.

     Supermac’s MD, Galway man Pat McDonagh, said that the family chain of restaurants was projecting a spend of €32million on Irish farm produce in 2018. “This is a very strong endorsement of the quality of Irish produce on Irish farms,” Mr. McDonagh said “and I am proud to serve it in each of our restaurants. We are strongly committed to Irish farmers and the farming community in general.  We are 40 years in business this year and since we started in Ballinasloe in 1978 we have always looked to local suppliers wherever possible, be that for farm produce or construction materials,” Mr McDonagh said.

    The group currently employs over 2,700 people throughout the country.  Supermac’s also operates Papa John’s Pizza, SuperSubs and Macs Place Diners. The latest store to open was in Headford, Co. Galway. The Só Hotel Group as well as the Claddagh Group of Pubs in the United States are also owned by Pat and Úna McDonagh. The company is on a major recruitment drive for management staff in particular at the moment.

    Pat McDonagh says they are offering career opportunities at all levels, - looking for staff in the area of managers, store managers, assistant managers and catering assistants. For more details check www.supermacs.ie/careers.”

     Supermac’s is Ireland’s largest indigenous quick service restaurant chain.  The franchise currently has over 100 outlets across country.

  • There is pessimism today that a resolution will be found to resolve the ongoing beef dispute.

    After almost 24 hours of talks, a meeting of all farm organisations chaired by IFA president Joe Healy is now taking place.

    It includes all farm organisations including Beef Plan Movement and the Independent Farmers of Ireland group.

  • Talks in the ongoing beef dispute have "successfully concluded", according to the Agriculture Minister.

    Minister Michael Creed said that, after long and detailed negotiations, progress was made on "important initiatives aimed at improving transparency along the supply chain."

    Groups representing farmers and the meat industry agreed on a number of sticking points such as a review of the grid and a review of the criteria for the quality payment system bonus.

    Commitments were also agreed on promotional initiatives for the beef sector and market transparency initiatives.

    However, the Irish Farmer's Association says farmers will be disappointed that there is no increase on the main issue of beef prices.

    Galway-based IFA President Joe Healy said the fact that the talks took place on the pre-condition that price would not be discussed was ignoring the elephant in the room.

    With Brexit just 71 days away, he said strong EU and Government support is urgently required for beef farmers who are in the middle of a severe income crisis.

  • 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.



  • The IFA will be intensifying its campaign against the Mercosur trade deal this week.  

    The farming organisation is holding a lobby session for all TDs and Senators today to build opposition to the deal.  

    As part of the campaign, IFA is highlighting the environmental damage done by beef production in Brazil with a slogan ‘One Burned Every Minute’, a reference to a recent BBC report which shows that the size of a football pitch in the rain forest is burned down every minute to clear ground for grazing and cattle ranching.

    Tomorrow IFA President Joe Healy will travel to Brussels to meet other farm leaders who are opposed to the deal. 

    Joe has been telling Midwest News today why he believes the Mercosur deal is bad for farmers, for the environment and for consumers and has been explaining why the IFA is raising its opposition campaign to it


  • Voting gets underway today for the 16th IFA national president and will conclude on Friday, December 13.

    The new president will replace Galway based farmer Joe Healy.

    The contenders are John Coughlan from Cork, Tim Cullinan from Tipperary and Angus Woods from Wicklow.

    The candidates have engaged with members at 17 debates around the country in the last month.

    Branches in Peterswell, Galway and Knockcroghery, Roscommon will cast their votes this evening.

    The national count will take place in the Castleknock Hotel in Dublin on Tuesday, December 17, with the next IFA president due to take up office at the AGM in January 2020.

  • The hot , dry weather is impacting severely on all farmers according to IFA President, Galway based farmer Joe Healy.

    He says the lack of rain is now adding to farmers’ stress and to their costs.

    Grass growth is now estimated at a third of the normal rate for this time of year.

    A Status Yellow drought advisory is in place by Met Éireann, warning of drought or near-drought conditions for the entire country. The advisory was issued last weekend and is in place until next Friday.

    Mr Healy has been telling Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley about the severity of the present weather conditions on farmers