Last week we brought your part I of our Summer Farming feature, which primarily focused on Farm Safety Week which ran from July 18 to 21. This week we bring you a few more agricultural advertisements from businesses in the midlands and updates articles on what is happening in the world of farming.
Markey urges farmers not to become a deadly statistic
Fine Gael’s Colm Markey asked farmers to put safety first and not end up as another deadly statistic. The MEP made the comments at the Oldcastle Agricultural show in Co. Meath on Sunday July 17, ahead of Farm Safety Week 2022.
“Six families are in mourning having lost a loved one in a farm accident this year. That is six too many. Farm Safety Week is all about highlighting the issue but it needs to be a priority for farmers every day of the year. There’s no doubt that farmers are under pressure across the country but I would urge them not to cut corners and end up as another deadly statistic”, the Midlands-North-West MEP and dairy farmer commented.
“I’d ask people to be particularly careful around cattle during the hot weather. According to the IFA, 68% of livestock related fatalities involve bulls and cows. Heat can cause stress and the risk of getting hurt is much greater.
“I would also ask farmers to check their machinery ahead of the harvest season. Tractors and farm vehicles account for 45% of deaths and it is not just the farmer in danger. With children off school and outside for the summer, accidents are more likely to happen so vigilance is key.
“It’s important to take a few hours to reassess machinery, identify risks and take action if required. Those couple of hours could save you or a loved one’s life.
“It starts with behavioural change. Farmers need to think safety first in all the tasks they perform. As we mark the 10th Farm Safety Week, let’s aim for zero deaths on our farms in 2023”, he concluded.
Final Call For County Farmers To Enter Top Dairy Cow Contest
The countdown is on for the county’s dairy breeders to enter the Diageo Baileys Irish Champion Cow. Sponsors of the competition, Baileys and its cream supplier Glanbia are expecting a strong response from farmers when it returns to the Virginia Show on 24 August after a two year absence.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Holstein Friesian breeders to this great agricultural event. We’re expecting to see well known breeders who have a strong family connection with the competition down through the years as well as new, next generation entrants who have developed an interest in showing livestock in recent times,” said Brendan Smyth, who co-ordinates entries on behalf of the sponsors.
The competition rewards breeders that combine good conformation in their animals with top milk production capability. Breeder of the ‘Diageo Baileys Champion’ will be rewarded with a cheque for €2,500 from a €10,000 prize fund that also covers a range of categories from Heifer-in-Milk to Junior Cow and Best EBI. “Importantly is the reputational gain for the owners of these great cows. A win in the show-ring at ‘The Baileys’ is the ultimate form of promotion for the herd and there’s huge pride in representing the county,” explained Brendan Smyth, Entries close on August 12. Further details are available on the Virginia Show website (https://www.virginiashow.com).
Major investment in farm safety announced
On Thursday, July 21, the Minister of State with responsibility for Farm Safety at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Martin Heydon, T.D., announced the provision of funding to Teagasc for the procurement of farm machinery simulators for use in agricultural colleges.
Making the announcement about the investment Minister of State Heydon said: “My priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our farmers, and this investment of over €1.25 million in 18 agricultural machinery simulators represents a significant step up in the efforts of my Department and Teagasc to improve the safety record around farm machinery and tractors. They will be ready and in use in all the agricultural colleges in the coming academic year.”
These simulators will be used in teaching students the key safety elements of operating farm machinery. The simulators will enable students to train in the operation of a range of machinery. These include tractors with different implements such as balers, mowers and tedders, and also forage harvesters, combines, and telescopic handlers, covering all the common machinery operations carried out on farms. The simulators will be used at all agricultural and horticultural colleges and will be available to students completing courses at the colleges and also to students at the universities and technological universities who use the college facilities for practical learning.
Drinks Ireland partners with Teagasc Signpost programme, to support sustainable future supply of Irish grain
The Teagasc Signpost programme has announced a partnership with Drinks Ireland, which represents Irish drinks manufacturers and suppliers, to further reduce the environmental footprint of grain production, which is key to underpinning the future sustainability needs of Ireland’s drinks industry.
Working with Drinks Ireland and four of its leading member companies (Diageo, Heineken Ireland, Irish Distillers and William Grant & Sons), the partnership will lead and support the transition towards climate smart cropping systems that advance reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, while maximising carbon sequestration.
Each year, the Irish drinks industry is supported with grain production from more than 2,000 farmers producing approximately 300,000 tonnes of grain from approximately 45,000 hectares. The environmental sustainability credentials of the tillage sector are strong, with crop production producing the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per unit area of our main agricultural production systems. Nevertheless, to maximise sustainability and increase climate resilience in cropping systems, the Tillage farms in the Teagasc Signpost Farm Programme are taking a lead in the adoption and demonstration of key actions to further reduce environmental footprint of production.
Some of the indicators of success will include; establishing ground cover for spring cereal production, and exploiting all appropriate IPM measures available to reduce pesticide use on farm, developing a plan to improve fertiliser use efficiency while replacing chemical fertilizers by up to 20% with organic manure as well as implementing a soil C enhancement programme.
Speaking on behalf of Drinks Ireland, William Lavelle stated:
“The Irish distilling and brewing industries have a proud record of buying quality grain from Irish farmers. More recently, our industry has been directly working with farmers to support greater sustainability in Irish tillage farming. Drinks Ireland, along with four of our leading members, have decided to partner with Teagasc on this new Signpost Farm programme as a sign of our strong support for Ireland’s tillage farmers as they strive to reduce carbon emissions while ensuring a sustainable future supply of Irish grain for Ireland’s iconic drinks industry.”