10,000 without power as storm Callum hits
Fallen trees and power lines combined with heavy rain cause disruption on farms while weather warnings remain in place for the north-west.

It was a difficult morning milking in Ireland's dairy heartland after storm Callum began to move across the country overnight, shattering trees and power lines.

Of a peak of 60,000 customers disconnected at 4am, ESB Networks said 30,000 were still without power at 7am. Efforts continued to repair lines through the day, with the 10,000 remaining without electricity at noon expected to be reconnected by the end of the day. Most were in a band stretching across the southern half of the country from counties Kerry, Cork, Kilkenny, Limerick, Mayo and Monaghan.

"We are particularly appealing to farmers and landowners to be vigilant as fallen trees or branches may have fallen on, or be leaning against electricity wires," a spokesperson for ESB Networks said. "Please do not approach or touch the wires, trees or branches, as they are extremely dangerous. Report immediately to 1850 372 999."

Eir said that around 3,000 fixed telephone line customers were disconnected by the storm too.

There were reports of multiple road closures in the same regions. AA Roadwatch warned of fallen trees blocking a number of roads and a mudslide cutting off the road between Cobh and Fota in Co Cork.

Gardaí added warnings of fallen trees and debris in Co Meath as the storm moved north on Friday morning.

A meeting of the Government's National Emergency Coordination Group on Friday morning issued a statement noting that "storm Callum tracked as forecast by Met Éireann with the worst of the storm affecting the west coast and fortunately did not hit in all areas as hard as it could have, resulting in minimal disruption". The group was stood down following the meeting.

The Teagasc/Glanbia farm walk scheduled today in Co Waterford has been cancelled as a result of the storm.

Met Éireann recorded the strongest winds along the west and south coasts, with gusts of over 100km/h in Co Cork and Co Kerry in the small hours of Friday. Gusts of 119km/h were recorded on Valentia Island at midnight.

As the storm tracked north, the coasts of Co Galway and Co Mayo were hit later in the morning, with gusts of 124km/h at Belmullet at 8am.

Met Éireann updated previous weather warnings at 9:30am on Friday morning, keeping a status orange alert in place until 4pm for counties Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Sligo. A status yellow warning is in place in Northern Ireland until midnight on Friday. Alerts have been lifted for other areas. Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue after the storm abates.

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This week in photos: baling in the Phoenix Park
Our top photos from the last week include baling and sowing.

Collecting bales in the Phoenix Park

Pat Walsh of Walsh Agri collecting bales in the Phoenix Park. Pat has two John Deere tractors and a Massey Ferguson for the job. They started the job back in August, collecting a number of square bales, and are finishing the job now in October. \ Ferdia Mooney

Baling haylage in Co Kildare

Fintan Kiernan from Straffan, Co Kildare baling haylage. Fintan sells hay, silage and straw and also runs other businesses from his farm. He says in the current climate its very important that farmers diversify rather than relying on one revenue stream. \ Philip Doyle

John Dolwing in Co Carlow

John Dowling from Galvins Bridge, Co Carlow has been collecting many various breeds of sheep for his 14-year old daughter Michela. They currently have over ten breeds including Bluefaced Leicesters, Dutch Texels and Dorsets. John is sorting them by breed before introducing them to the ram. As their various flocks have grown, John has taken on more land and built a new shed. \ Philip Doyle

Sowing maize in Co Carlow

Contractor Alfie Byrne and his team sowing maize in Kildavin, Co Carlow. Waiti Petera is operating the drill and Brendan Murphy is loosening up the ground with the tractor. They are sowing the Pioneer 8200 variety, using the Samco drill and sowing 40,000 plants to the acre. \ Patrick Browne

My farming week in Co Wicklow

Donal Kavanagh is a dairy farmer in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow. He is milking 200 Holstein Friesians on a split winter/spring milk system, with the help of his wife Fiona and their three children Cliona, Mark and Aoife. \ Philip Doyle

Niall McGuinness in Co Galway

Niall McGuinness from Ballymana, Co Galway feeding haylage to his cattle and collecting tyres from around the yard for The Irish Farm Film Producers Group (IFFPG) tyre collection in Athenry Mart. \ David Ruffles

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This week in photos: potato harvesting and Kilcullen Mart

Tillage farmer Aidan Hand from Co Louth was forced to harvest early

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'Strong demand' for milk lorry and feed delivery haulage course
17 October was the deadline for applications for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme.

Dairygold has reported strong demand for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme, which aims to address the shortage of qualified drivers across the haulage sector in Ireland.

Applications are currently being processed and Dairygold is confident that it will fill the maximum allocation of 20 places for the first professional driver training programme.

The course is due to commence at the end of November and will involve a 15-week training programme, which will be based in Mallow.

“Successful applicants will be allocated to Dairygold’s hauliers across all transport lanes, eg milk collection and feed deliveries.

“The demand and interest in the driver training programme was strong and very positive. A decision on further training programmes will be made in due course,” a spokesperson for Dairygold told the Irish Farmers Journal.

As the dairy industry continues to expand, there is an ever-growing need for skilled and qualified drivers to support the logistics of milk collection and feed delivery, Billy Cronin, head of supply chain at Dairygold, said when the course was announced a number of weeks ago.

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New haulage course for milk lorry and feed delivery drivers

Over 400 farmers travel to fourth tyre recycling centre
The fourth tyre recycling centre was at Gortdrum Mines in Monard, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.

A total of 850 tonnes of tyres were collected from 400 farmers in Tipperary on Saturday. The average volume collected at each of the four bring centres now stands at 1,000t.

While this is the final planned disposal day with the Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG), farmers have called for further "bring centres".

The IFA is calling for a national scheme to be rolled out so that there is one recycling point opened in each county.

IFA environment chair Thomas Cooney said the association has sought a meeting with Minister for State at the Department of Environment Seán Canney.

“We look forward to working with him and his officials to build on the good work so far and ensure we all play our part in keeping the countryside clean,” Cooney said.

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Equivalent of 350,000 car tyres collected from bring centres