In pictures: silage 2018 kicks off on Irish farms
After a long winter, delayed turnout and deluges of rain, silage 2018 kicked off on Irish farms this week.

Meath farmer Shane Corbally was cutting silage on Monday, tweeting that he had a new toy out to play.

In Kerry, dairy farmer Karol Kissane launched into silage 2018.

He said on Twitter: “After eight months of eating it it's time to replenish supplies.”

South Tipperary beef and dairy farmer Anthony Slattery started his first cut of silage for the year.

In Kilkenny, Jim Mulhall was packing the pit with grass after a day of cutting grass.

Sligo farmer Christopher Tuffy was knocking meadows for the first cut of silage.

“Only a few weeks after we stopped feeding silage we’re making it again. About half the first cut being knocked today #silage18,” he tweeted.

In Tralee, Co Kerry, Johnny O’Hanlon tweeted he was chasing mowers for the day as his 2018 silage season started.

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Silage wrap and netting costs in the spotlight

Long run for load of grass

Tullamore farm update: maintaining grass quality and coughing calves

Watch: ram lamb sells for whopping £160,000
A Scottish Blackface Lanark type ram lamb sold for £160,000 (€181,000) at Lanark this weekend.

This weekend at a sheep sale in Lanark, a Scottish Blackface Lanark type ram lamb belonging to W Dunlop and Sons from Elmscleugh, sold for £160,000.

The ram lamb was purchased by J P Campbell Glenrath and H&A Blackwood from Auldhouseburn, Muirkirk.

The auctioneer commented he was a “great big strong character” and a “powerful beast”.

The bidding started at £5,000 and when the ram lamb reached £140,000 the auctioneer said “don’t be shy lads” and a “good one’s never dear”. The final price the ram lamb sold for was £160,000.

Ian Latimer was there to record the sale.

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Texel ram sells for £136,500 in Lanark

Ram makes £85,000 at Scottish sale

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

#Harvest18 photo competition: the top 20 entries

'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