Irish Farmers Journal weekly podcast: new beef scheme and blackcurrant rebirth
Listen to our livestock specialists go throuh the details of the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme and hear from Animal Health Ireland as well as Matt Dempsey, who edited the IFA's 60th anniversary book.

New: you can subscribe to the Farmers Journal's weekly podcast on iTunes

This week, the Farmers Journal has obtained the terms and conditions of the Beef Data and Genomics Programme: listen in as news editor Pat O'Keeffe gets the details from editor Justin McCarthy and livestock specialist Darren Carty.

Pat interviews Longford farmer Mike Magan, chairman of Animal Health Ireland; and Thomas Hubert talks to former Farmers Journal editor Matt Dempsey, who edited the 60th anniversary book "IFA: The Path to Power".

Finally, Irish Country Living's Ciara Leahy asks colleague Roisín Healy about her visit to the Co. Wexford farm that has just launched its own home-grown blackcurrant cordial.

Listen to each item separately:

Missed the previous episodes of the podcast? Catch up below!

Episode 4 - 22 April 2015: Farm safety and crop growth update

Episode 3 - 15 April 2015: GLAS, Ornua results and social welfare entitlements

Episode 2 - 8 April 2015: Markets for Irish beef

Episode 1 - 31 March 2015: End of milk quotas

Over 400 farmers travel to fourth tyre recycling centre
The fourth tyre recycling centre was at Gortdrum Mines in Monard, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.

A total of 850 tonnes of tyres were collected from 400 farmers in Tipperary on Saturday. The average volume collected at each of the four bring centres now stands at 1,000t.

While this is the final planned disposal day with the Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG), farmers have called for further "bring centres".

The IFA is calling for a national scheme to be rolled out so that there is one recycling point opened in each county.

IFA environment chair Thomas Cooney said the association has sought a meeting with Minister for State at the Department of Environment Seán Canney.

“We look forward to working with him and his officials to build on the good work so far and ensure we all play our part in keeping the countryside clean,” Cooney said.

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Equivalent of 350,000 car tyres collected from bring centres

Irish farms among the most valuable in the EU
A combination of high land prices and low debt makes the net value of Irish farms among the highest in Europe.

The average Irish farm has a net value of just under €1m, the fourth highest among the 28 EU member states, a comparison of 2015 farm accounting data by the European Commission has found.

UK farms are the most valuable, with a net worth of €1.8m on average, followed by the Netherlands at €1.6m and farms in Denmark at just over €1m.

By contrast, the average Romanian farm is worth just €33,700, the lowest net worth in the EU.

Irish farms hold on average €1m worth of assets, higher than the EU average of €338,600, but only in sixth position in the EU league. Nearly 90% of those assets are land, with only UK farms locking more of their value into farmland.

Meanwhile Irish farms have very low debt levels, far smaller than the EU average of €54,500. Recent CSO figures show that most farms don't have any debt, and the 35% who do owe an average of €60,000 only. Moreover, Irish farmers have secured long-term loans in much larger proportions than their counterparts in most other EU countries, who are more exposed to the need of constantly refinancing short-term loans.

High solvency

As a result, Irish farms have the lowest liabilities-to-assets ratio, under 3%, described by the Commission as a sign of high solvency. "In the case of Ireland, the low liabilities-to-assets ratio mainly reflects relatively high asset values when compared to low liabilities," analysts wrote.

The high value of Irish farms is not reflected in their income ranking. The average Irish farm's net income was higher than the EU average but ranked in 11th position only, far behind the Dutch leaders.

Irish farmers were also the third most reliant on direct payments for their income, with only Greek and Finnish farmers receiving a larger proportion of their income from the BPS system.

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2018 farm incomes to sink to eight-year low

Comer brothers close in on sale of GAA land
The 103 acres that was bought by the GAA for €2.8m during the boom is nearing a sale for a reported €750,000 or €7,300/ac.

The sale of 103 acres at Mountain South is imminent and at the final stages, the Irish Farmers Journal understands. The land, which was bought by the GAA in the mid-2000's for a reported €2.8m, was guided for €750,000 or €7,300/ac when it re-entered the market in April.

It is believed that it has been almost bought for around the guide of €750,000. Local reports have linked the Comer brothers with the sale. It has been suggested that businessmen are going to turn the farm into a €20m centre of excellence for soccer.

The holding was withdrawn from auction in April and was offered by private treaty since. Handling the sale is Cathal Moran of Cathal Moran and Co Auctioneers, Athenry. He is joint agents with GVA Donal O Buachalla.