Listen: ‘Awful lot of extra stress on farmers’ – Embrace Farm
Embrace Farm urges farmers to ask for help as weather conditions cause hardship and could increase farm accidents.

The need for farmers to ask for physical or mental support is acute this year given recent weather conditions, and co-founder of Embrace Farm Brian Rohan has asked farmers to mind themselves and avoid stress-related farm accidents.

“There’s an awful lot of extra stress on farmers and no matter what pressure they’re under, be sure and ask for help and seek help out there to take the pressure off them, because it’s when you’re under pressure there are more farm accidents,” Rohan told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Rohan was speaking at Tullamore Show at the launch of Embrace Farm's all-island tractor run to help highlight farm accidents.

There have been 290, which equates to one every 14 days, and that’s just far too many

“Today we launch our all-island tractor drive for those who were killed or seriously injured on farm accidents and also to highlight the number that have been killed in the last 10 years,” Rohan said.

“There have been 290, which equates to one every 14 days, and that’s just far too many.

“We thought we’d have some sort of eternal light at the [National Ploughing Champships] and then we thought we’d take it a step further and why don’t we take the light like an Olympic torch around every county in Ireland, starting here at Tullamore Show and finishing up the first day of the Ploughing.”

“It’s hard to get a light to fit on a tractor for the 32 counties so WR Shaw are fitting the light and in fairness to them they’re supplying the tractor free of charge. So anyone who sees it will see a little red light on the bonnet of the tractor and it’s not on any other tractor so that’s what that light signifies.”

Macra clubs have got on board and Rohan says there will probably be a handover every evening as one club takes over the driving in their part of a county.

The tractor will be fitted with a tracker and people can log in through Embrace Farm's social media profiles to follow the tractor drive and check when it’ll be in their area.

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Arrabawn holds December milk price
The processor is the most recent to announce that its milk price will be unchanged.

Arrabawn has decided to hold its price for December milk at 30.6c/l excluding VAT.

The price has remained unchanged for several months.

Most co-ops opted to leave milk prices unchanged for December.

Dairygold

Dairygold announced that it will hold their December milk price at 30.36c/l excluding VAT.

The price is inclusive of a 0.5c/l quality bonus based on standard constituents of 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat.

The co-op has also held this price for several months.

Lakeland Dairies, Glanbia and Kerry Group held their price at 30.4c/l (excluding VAT) for December milk supplies.

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The farmer's daily wrap: low-cost loans and BDGP map
Check out the latest headlines and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather forecast.

Weather forecast

A status yellow nationwide snow and ice warning is in place from 7pm Monday 21 January until 9pm the following day.

According to Met Éireann, hill and mountain areas are expected to be the worst affected.

Frost and ice are predicted and temperatures will dip to -1°C, with fresh winds.

In the news

  • Minister Creed has said some 2,511 farmers are yet to pass the approval process for their BDGP payment.
  • Vets have criticised the Department’s level of action in the run-up to Brexit.
  • Grant funding of up to €25,000 is available to farmers participating in GLAS to restore traditional farm buildings and structures.
  • Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.
  • Social Farming is set to double the number of its farmer participants from 60 to 120, according to its annual report.
    Minimum €50,000 draw-down for low-cost loans
    Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.

    The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has confirmed details of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, including that farmers will have to apply for a minimum of €50,000 to avail of the scheme.

    The long-awaited low-cost loan scheme will offer eligible businesses and farmers loans at an interest rate of 4.5% or less.

    The maximum draw down is €3m and the loans are for terms of between eight and 10 years.

    Banks have been invited to apply to distribute the new low-cost loan scheme, with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank all having previously expressed interest in taking part in the scheme.

    Loans in March

    Up to €300m is available under the scheme, which is being developed in conjunction with the SBCI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Business.

    Minister for Business Heather Humphreys previously told the Irish Farmers Journal that she hopes to see the loan scheme fully operational by March this year.

    Financial institutions have until 11 February to submit their applications to become lending partners.

    Previous scheme

    Under the previous low-cost loan scheme, the interest rate was set at 2.95%, with loan terms available between 18 months and three years.

    A total fund of €150m was available, with roughly €145m drawn down by farmers. By October last year, some €47.5m had been repaid.

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    Where is the low-interest loan fund?