In Pictures: 'Belties' 30 hour journey from Scotland to Cape Clear
From Scotland to one of the southernmost parts of Ireland, the journey of the Belted Galloway heifers to the Voarino family farm took 30 hours.

Phillipe Voarino and his family are farmers on Cape Clear Island.

Initially mixed suckler farmers farming Angus and Hereford, the family experimented by introducing Belted Galloway cattle on to their farm, which they believed would be well suited to the rough Atlantic weather that is common on Cape Clear.

After experiencing having “Belties” in the herd, the Voarino’s made a decision to convert their enterprise into the production of pedigree Belted Galloways and source the animals from their homeland in Scotland.

“During a short trip to Scotland we visited the Mochrum herd, one of the oldest and most famous herds as well as the Clifton herd, which produces regular show winners. We decided to purchase six heifers from the two herds,” said Phillipe.

The cattle then made the long trip from Scotland down to the coast at Baltimore in Co Cork.

“After some organising with the help of livestock transporter MD Workman, we were guiding a worryingly long livestock truck through the small roads of Baltimore.

"Once on the pier we transferred the cattle into two small trailers before the crew of the Cape Clear Island ferry loaded them on-board using the ship’s brand new crane,” he continued.

“Just over an hour later the trailers were unloaded and the cattle were brought to their final destination”

“Our Belties were welcomed by wind and lashing rain, something they are well accustomed to and are now thriving in their new home."

“We were very impressed with the way the Belties were able to cope with the harsh Atlantic weather. Their coarse outer coat helps them shed the rain, and their soft undercoat provides insulation and waterproofing. We were amazed by how little forage our Belties required compared to the rest of our herd so immediately we fell under their charm.”

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In pictures: stylish silage creating a stir

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