Large attendance at first Beef Plan public meeting
There were over 550 farmers at the first meeting of the Beef Plan 2018-2025 in Roscommon Mart last night.

The inaugural public meeting of a voluntary group of beef farmers was held last night in Roscommon Mart. The group, known as Beef Plan 2018-2025, set out its stall in front of a large group of local farmers, with numbers attending estimated to be between 550 and 600.

All farmers attending were asked to fill out their contact details on a registration form and contribute a €10 membership fee.

We have to have the balls and stand together when the text goes out not to send cattle

Eamon Corley, a founding member of the group, said the main aim was to get 40,000 farmers to “act as one”. He said a core long-term plan is to set up a producer group in each county.

“All the producer groups can be linked up. We have to make it happen ourselves. It’s the only way it will happen,” Corley stated.

Retail price

“The retail price has increased steadily over the years, but we are being squeezed all the time and destined to fail,” he added.

As part of phase one, the committee plans to mobilise members to disrupt cattle supply at short notice using text message alerts.

“You could get a text message at six in the morning asking you not to kill cattle,” a committee member said.

The idea behind the short notice is to take factories by surprise and reduce the chance of alternative arrangements being made, the committee explained.

Disruption

Committee member Michael McNally said: “We are going to cause disruption, we are going to be in a fight. If we don’t do this now, our livelihoods are finished."

McNally insisted that farmers should reject the new BEEP scheme, saying: “Let the lads carrying clipboards put the calves up the crush."

McNally also believes Teagasc has a role to play. “They know how hard it is to make money from suckler farming. They need to get off the fence and speak up,” he told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Elphin Mart manager Gerry Connellan also spoke on the night. “They started with the 30-month rule and next it was the number of movements. It’s all designed to bring down the price of beef,” he claimed.

“The IFA and the ICSA haven’t done enough for us,” he stated.

Work as one

Committee member Hugh Doyle said: “If you are to bring anything home from this meeting, it is to realise there is power in numbers, but we have to be prepared to work as one.”

Outspoken west of Ireland TD Michael Fitzmaurice was in attendance. Before the meeting concluded, he said: “We have to have the balls and stand together when the text goes out not to send cattle.”

The meeting in Roscommon was the first of a series of meetings planned around the country. The next meeting takes place at the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, on 14 November at 8.30pm. More details of the group’s plans can be found at https://www.beefplan.ie.

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Beef plan movement to go its own way

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

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    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