Co-ops need to be more proactive on fodder scheme – ICSA
The ICSA has said that the main issue with the fodder scheme is the lack of co-op support for the scheme.

Co-ops and marts need to be more proactive in encouraging farmers to use the fodder scheme according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) Cavan chair Hugh Farrell.

“We’ve no issue with the Department, but the marts need to more proactive and positive about promoting the scheme to farmers,” Farrell told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“We were lead to believe that the scheme was very complicated, but that’s not the case and we’ve sat down with farmers and gone through the paperwork with them.

It’s costing up to €480 for a load of fodder and that’s too much for farmers to pay

“But when there’s an €8 to €9 difference between the price of fodder being sourced and delivered by farmers then there’s something very wrong.

“It’s costing up to €480 for a load of fodder and that’s too much for farmers to pay. Farmers have been supporting co-ops and marts for years and it’s time for them to support farmers.”

Agricultural adviser

Farmers must have a fodder budget completed by an agricultural adviser to certify that they are short of fodder to qualify for the scheme.

The ICSA has asked all agricultural advisers to follow Teagasc’s lead and offer to complete fodder budgets for free.

“We’d like to thank Teagasc for the their generosity in completing fodder budgets for free and encourage other agricultural advisers to do the same in this time of crisis,” Farrell said.

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DeLaval launches new rotary parlour
DeLaval has said its latest rotary milking parlour will focus on labour efficiency at a time when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.

DeLaval has launched a new rotary parlour in Ireland and the UK. The E100 rotary is focused around animal welfare, milk quality, farm profitability and work efficiency, according to DeLaval.

Gary Edwards, CMS Solutions manager, stated: “The DeLaval E100 rotary has been designed around the customer’s and the animal’s needs. It has been designed as a complete milking system focussing on cow flow, cow comfort, efficiency and comfort for the milker.

“Combined with DelPro™ herd management software, it really offers the farmer complete control of his herd, making it easier for him to make management decisions. When working in conjunction with the unique DeLaval teat spray robot, it is incredibly labour efficient when labour is becoming increasingly challenging for dairy farmers.”

The parlour, DeLaval says, encourages calm cow flow by utilising a low-profile bail. Rapid entry and exit from the parlour is also prioritised in order to improve throughput. The parlour can be operated by one person, something DeLaval says can improve work efficiency.

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Cows loose on Meath road
Motorists travelling on the R154 near Kiltale, Co Meath, are advised there are reports of cows loose on the road.

The AA roadwatch has received reports of cows loose along a regional road in Co Meath. The incident has been reported near Kiltale on the Trim/Batterstown road (R154).

The reports were recieved at 8.30am and gardaí are en-route to deal with the situation.

Widespread drop in points for agricultural courses
A number of agricultural science courses across the country have seen a reduction in the 2018 entry points requirement, as students opt for engineering courses.

Agricultural courses have seen a widespread drop in points, as many students opt for construction-orientated courses. Over 50,000 students will receive first-round higher-education offers today after getting their Leaving Cert results last week.

Agricultural courses at UCD, Dundalk IT and IT Tralee all experienced drops. General entry to agricultural science at UCD dropped by just four points to 451 but agri-environmental science fell by 20 points. Dairy business went in the opposite direction moving up to 30 points to 432. IT Tralee courses had some of the largest drops, with its Level 8 agricultural science course falling by 16 points and its Level 7 equivalent falling by 33 points.

Waterford IT was one of the few colleges to buck the trend, with both Level 8 and Level 7 agriculture courses jumping by 14 points and 18 points respectively. Agricultural engineering at Galway-Mayo IT saw a significant increase of 25 points.

Engineering

The increase in interest in engineering courses was reflected across the board. For general engineering courses at UCD, Trinity and NUI Galway points are up from anywhere between 10 and 30. It is likely this has been driven by the rising demand from industry for people with those skills.

Construction management at Dublin IT increased by 20 points to 346, while project and construction management at NUI Galway jumped a massive 32 points to reach 402.

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