Farmer fights forced sale of land
The vulture fund Cerberus are attempting to sell a farmer’s land without his permission.

Hugh Reynolds, a farmer in Coole, Co Westmeath, is preparing to fight the proposed sale of his farm by so-called vulture fund Cerberus.

Negotiations have been ongoing between the farmer and Cerberus for several months, with the 44-acre farm appearing for sale on the online auction site BidX1 on several occasions.

“I believe I’ve made a more than reasonable offer to buy back the land but they’ve refused point blank,” Reynolds told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“They’re after putting it up and taking it down a few times now,” the distressed farmer said, explaining that the situation was made worse by the cat-and-mouse game that the vulture fund seemed to be playing.

I’ve made a more than reasonable offer to buy back the land

“It’s good-quality land but they had it up at a guide price of €5,000/ac, which is ridiculous.

“They’ve also advertised it as ‘vacant possession’ but I have a tenant on the land.

“I just want to get the message out there that this would be a forced sale of land,” he said.

Previous research carried out by the Irish Farmers Journal shows that up to 194ac of land in Co Westmeath is controlled by vulture funds.

The land is due to go up for auction next Thursday. Bidders on the online auction site have the option to remain completely anonymous and land sold under auction is subject to an immediate binding contract.

Farm organisations have stood firm on the issue of forced land sales and have called on vulture funds to stop such practices.

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The farmer's daily wrap: ATM thefts, BPS and silage 2019
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Saturday 20 April.

Weather forecast

Saturday is forecast to be a warm and dry day, with sunshine developing after clearance of mist and fog.

Met Éireann has said that it will stay cloudy in Connacht and west and north Ulster, with some light rain or drizzle there along the coast.

Afternoon temperatures will range between 15°C and 16°C in the northwest to between 17°C and 22°C elsewhere.

In the news

  • A tractor, low-loader and digger were used in the early hours of Friday to rob two ATMs in Kells, Co Meath.
  • Vigilante animal activists could face up to 12 months in prison for sharing personal information which allows them to target and trespass on farms, if the current Australian government is re-elected.
  • Over 55,000 farmers have applied to date to the Over 55,000 BPS applications made to date" target="_blank">2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
  • Representatives from FBD have blamed the cost of high insurance premiums ‘Cost of insurance is too high’ – FBD" target="_blank">on people who are too willing to make insurance claims and the Irish legal system, which is too generous with pay-outs.
  • The annual silage harvest at Dublin Airport began on Thursday.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • The connection between passport applications and BPS applications.
    Fire-fighters battling huge gorse fire in Donegal
    Two houses have already been taken by the blaze, which is raging in the Annagry area of the county.

    Fire-fighters and locals in the Annagry area of Donegal are fighting a gorse fire which has destroyed two homes in the area.

    The Donegal Daily reports that eight units of Donegal fire brigade are battling the blaze.

    It also reports that locals are fighting the fire.

    The Malin Coast Guard is helping to assess the area currently being covered by the fire.

    One Twitter user tweeted an image of smoke from the fire earlier today.

    The fire comes following a a condition orange fire warning, which called on forest owners, farmers and rural dwellers to be vigilant over the bank holiday weekend for fires.

    There is a high risk of fires this weekend as a result of easterly high pressure conditions and forecast high temperatures.

    These conditions mean that a high fire risk exists in all areas where hazardous fuels such as gorse, heather, dried grasses and other dead vegetation exist.

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    Farmers asked to be vigilant for forest fires

    Gorse fire an 'intimidating sight'

    In pictures: 2019 silage season takes off at Dublin Airport
    The annual silage harvest at the country’s busiest airport began on Thursday.

    Tractors and mowers were called into action to kick off the 2019 silage season at Dublin Airport on Thursday.

    Over 200ac of silage will be made at the country’s largest airport over the next two days, according to Ciarán Hoey, one of the tractor drivers on the job.

    A team of seven drivers was operating the fleet of butterfly mowers, a harvester, six trailers and Massey Ferguson tractors to make silage in the short time window.

    “With security being very strict, it will be a highly co-ordinated harvest,” explained Hoey.

    The grass will be drawn a short distance to a nearby farmer for pit silage.

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    Watch: Silage 2017 kicks off in Dublin Airport

    Easter weekend: hazy with highs of 23°C in parts