• A farmer with cattle can commercially tax a new jeep while a farmer without cattle, owning just sheep cannot, and according to Independent West Mayo Councillor Michael Holmes the situation is simply crazy.

    He argued at this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, this kind of an anomaly is just one of many that is causing young people not to opt to farm or live in rural Ireland.

    The councillor says the deterioration of services generally in rural Ireland is causing decimation of farms and people.

    A recent survey undertaken in a part of West Mayo showed that in 15 years time the 70 herd or flock owners now in the area, will be reduced to less than 20 and he says something has to be done to address rural decline.

    He says he is personally aware of up to ten small businesses in the west Mayo area that have decided or are seriously considering closing down at present.

  • Half a million lambs are being imported into the Republic of Ireland for slaughter every year.

    That’s according to figures obtained by ICSA Sheep Chairman Sean McNamara who has called on the Agriculture Minister to address the issue of sheep imports as a matter of urgency.

    Mr. McNamara says it’s no wonder that Irish Sheep famers have a hard time selling their stock or getting a fair price.

    He is calling on the Department of Agriculture to provide weekly reports on the number of lambs imported and from where.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is calling for an extra 10 euros per ewe for hill flocks ahead of the Teagasc National Hill Sheep conference due to take place in Westport on Wednesday.

    Speaking in advance of the conference, INHFA Vice President Brendan Joyce said that "with savings of €5 million of the €25 million welfare package in year one of the scheme and a similar level of saving likely in year two, the Government must now increase the available budget and target it towards the hill sheep sector.

    He claims hill flock owners need as much support as possible to sustain hill farming in the absence of a market for light hill lamb.