From Tallinn to Tullamore – meet the 17 Estonian breeders at Tullamore Show
Crediting the quality of Irish beef stock and the high proportion of grass in the diet, 17 Limousin breeders from Estonia have come to Ireland as part of a five-day tour.

People came from all corners of the country to the Tullamore Show on Sunday, but few travelled further than a group of breeders from Estonia. The group, made up of 17 Estonian Limousin breeders, was in Ireland for a five-day tour.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Diana Pearna, one of the breeders, said: “I visited Ireland five years ago and was very impressed with the quality of the stock. The cattle here are famous and if we want to be better we have to learn from the best.”

Estonian sucklers

Diana explained that the suckler herd in Estonia is still very young and that the Limousin breed itself has only been in the country since 2000.

Pork is the main meat in Estonia and eating beef is a new experience to many Estonians.

Due to climatic conditions, most Estonian beef farmers sell their weanlings at 300kg to other EU countries, as well as Turkey, for finishing. Herefords are the most popular breed followed by Angus, Limousin, Simmental and Charolais.

Reputation

“We have been amazed by the quality of the calves here,'’ Diana says. “For their age they are so well-grown. We have used a lot of genetics from continental Europe. Our first Limousins came from our Finnish neighbours.

“We want to widen this and include Ireland. Here, you grow more grass and do not use many other feeds. This is something we value and want to do. Many of us are interested in importing semen from Irish bulls.”

Most farmers are between 40 and 60 years old and there are problems getting young people interested

Diana says that in Estonia, herds have an average of 70 cows but there are also a lot of hobby farmers with only a handful of cows. Most farmers are between 40 and 60 years old and there are problems getting young people interested.

“We have been very impressed by all the young handlers here today [at Tullamore]. It is a great way to get children interested. Most young people in Estonia just want to work in IT and the only muscle they develop is their finger,” Diana laughs.

The group will also visit the ICBF Tully Progeny Test Centre and four pedigree herds during their visit.

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The farmer's daily wrap: inspections, milk price and silage 2019
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for 16 February 2019.

Weather forecast

Met Éireann has said that there will be some mist or drizzle at times on Saturday morning, but most places will be dry during the day.

More general rain is forecast to develop along the west coast by evening.

It will be mild and breezy, with highs of 10°C to 12°C in southerly winds.

In the news

  • In pictures: silage 2019 kicks off in February in Kilkenny.
  • The board of Aurivo met on Friday and increased its January milk price.
  • Farmers are being driven out of business by over-zealous and unaccountable inspectors, Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said.
  • Applications for the BEEP scheme, which has a funding provision of €20m, will be accepted up to and including next Friday 22 February.
  • Some 66 projects from across the country will be allocated funding of €62m under the €1bn rural regeneration and development fund.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • Nathan Tuffy reports from Balla Mart.
    Fly-tippers return to burn rubbish to prevent identification
    A farmer who spoke out against illegal dumping and promised to search bags to find the culrpits spurred those responsible to return and burn out the rubbish.

    A farmer who said he would search through illegally dumped rubbish on his farm found it burnt to ashes when he returned two days later.

    Speaking on RTE’s Countrywide earlier in the year, tillage and livestock farmer Michael Doran from Co Wexford said he was targeted on two separate occasions by dumpers after Christmas.

    Bags of rubbish, mattresses, old clothes, children’s toys and household appliances were among the items dumped. At the time, Doran said it was his intention to search the bags in an effort to identify those responsible.

    I went down on the Monday and someone had put a match to it and burnt all the rubbish

    However, after the show aired on Saturday, and in a bid to prevent identification, the rubbish was reduced to a pile of ashes and burnt metal.

    “I went down on the Monday and someone had put a match to it and burnt all the rubbish,” Michael said.

    He said the farm had been preparing for calving and it had been a struggle to find the time to conduct the search.

    Men in vans

    Michael said there were a number of theories about where the rubbish had come from. Some people said they had seen adverts on various platforms from men in vans offering to take rubbish away for €25 to €30.

    “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true,” Michael warned. “That rubbish is being offloaded on properties like mine.”

    In a bid to tackle the issue, county councils are to introduce an inspection system similar to the TV licence. Homeowners will be asked to produce evidence that they are disposing of their waste legally to cut down on “men in vans”-type operations.

    Read more

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    It’s time to get tough on illegal dumping – IFA

    Foot and mouth disease found in Australian airport seizures
    A number of products seized at Australian airports since December last year have tested positive for foot and mouth disease.

    Pork jerky, sausages and other pork products were seized by officials from the Australian Department of Agriculture in airports in the last three months.

    Two samples tested positive for foot and mouth disease, while one tested inconclusive. In total, more than 280 samples were tested for the disease to date this year.

    African Swine Fever was also detected in six of the December samples and 40 of this year’s samples, according to a report by ABC news.

    Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said that he “won't tolerate travellers risking Australian farming.”

    Cost

    It is estimated that a foot and mouth outbreak could cost Australia’s livestock industry up to $60bn.

    "[If] borders close we can't trade live animals, we can't send meat products out of the country except to other countries that have FMD,” biosecurity expert and Melbourne University professor Tom Kompas said.

    The Victoria Farmer’s Federation said that penalties need to be more severe on people who bring in biosecurity hazards.

    Read more

    Farmer Writes: we've lost 1,000 cattle to floods and cold