Map: €26m starts rolling out to forest owners
The 2019 Forestry Premium payments started issuing on Friday to almost 5,000 forest owners.

A total of €26.1m is being issued to almost 5,000 forest owners who applied online for their 2019 Forestry Premium payment.

Landowners will receive an average payment of €5,200.

“Premium payments will continue to be issued on a weekly basis throughout the year and I would encourage all participants under the scheme to consider applying online if they wish to avail of the earlier payment,” Minister of State Andrew Doyle said.

“Today’s payment is a reminder of the opportunity which the forestry schemes offer for diversifying farm income, with a guaranteed payment for 15 years. The schemes can offer grants to cover the cost of establishing forests and woodlands and annual premiums of up to €680 per hectare for 15 years.

"A total of €103.5m has been made available by the Government for the continued development of Ireland’s forest resource and forestry sector in 2019.”

The Forestry Programme 2014–2020 sets out a plan to increase Ireland’s forest resource. The Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme provides grants to cover the cost of planting and forest maintenance, along with annual forestry premiums for 15 years.

Minimum area

Eligible broadleaf woodlands can be as small as 0.10ha, while the minimum area of eligible conifer forests is 1.00ha. There is an obligation for newly planted forests to include at least 15% broadleaves and higher grants are available for broadleaf planting.

Forests and woodlands planted for commercial, environmental, aesthetic and amenity purposes are eligible for support under the scheme.

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Watch: new Agri Aware campaign to air in cinemas and on TV
The ‘Many Hats, One CAP’ advert is set to air on television and in cinemas in the coming weeks, with the campaign highlighting how important investment in agriculture is to the wider Irish economy.

This week, Agri Aware launched its new 'Many Hats, One CAP' TV and cinema advert.

Produced by Traction Marketing, the advert is part of a wider campaign which aims to promote and showcase how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affects everyday life in Ireland, whether that is subsidies paid to a farmer directly or the countless indirect knock-ons that keep rural Ireland alive.

The launch took place at Movies Dundrum, Dublin, on Thursday evening, where both the full and short versions of the advert where premiered for the first time on screen.

Rural landscape

The ad itself follows a day in the life of a number of characters who make up the rural landscape in Ireland.

From clips of rural entrepreneur and chef Edward Hayden cooking up a storm in his Graiguenamanagh cookery school, to farmer Kevin Moran up before dawn in Galway to milk his dairy herd, it gives viewers a glimpse into the role the agri-food industry plays.

Agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive

At the premiere, there was a panel of guest speakers which included Agri Aware chair Alan Jagoe and three of the stars in the ad; Hayden, Moran and Teagasc researcher Dr Dayle Johnston.

Hosted by Marty Morrissey, the panel reiterated the point that agriculture is a huge economic multiplier, which keeps rural Ireland alive, and the CAP is central to that.

Alan Jagoe spoke of the huge work, time and spend going behind the campaign.

“It costs money to put it out there, but consumers and society need to know where their money is going and who they are supporting.

"There needs to be an understanding and respect for the production costs and efforts that go into food production,” he stressed.

2016 FBD young farmer of the year Kevin Moran made the point that CAP itself “is not just one thing – a subsidy for a farmer - it is much more than that; it’s an investment in food security, an investment in rural economies and this investment is invaluable to rural Ireland”.

'Many Hats, One CAP' is a 12-month public information campaign that will go live across TV, radio, cinema, social media and print over the coming weeks.

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Farmers to lodge appeals over Castleblayney Mart next week
Around 40 of an estimated 100 farmers owed money by a collapsed Co Monaghan auctioneering firm have decided to pursue legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority.

Farmers left unpaid by the liquidation of EP Nugent Ltd, the company operating Castleblayney Mart, have decided to launch legal action against the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA).

At a meeting on Thursday, attendees heard that one case against the PSRA failed, but won when it went to appeal.

Claim

Solicitor Paul McCormack told the Irish Farmers Journal that they have agreed to put “in a claim under the property services regulation Act 2011".

"Section 78 part three allows us to bring a claim. One case went forward to the Property Services Regulation Authority and was refused but went through to the property services appeal board and won.”

He says that the basis for the claim is that EP Nugent Ltd was trading “dishonestly” by not having a license.

“There’s 40 individual cases,” McCormack said, adding that the average claim is approximately €1,000.

“Nugent would like to see the farmers paid. There’s no guarantee it will happen. Claims had to be lodged within 12 months of the people finding out there was a problem. The liquidation was 9 April 2018 so we are up tight against the wire.”

McCormack advised that anyone who wants to make a claim should get in touch with his office at Thomas Street, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, or the IFA.

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Chlorothalonil ban ‘a hammer blow’ to tillage farmers
The Irish Grain Growers Group has come out against the discontinuation of chlorothalonil.

The discontinuation of chlorothalonil is a hammer blow to Irish tillage farmers, Irish Grain Growers Group chair Bobby Miller has said.

On Friday, the European Commission voted to ban chlorothalonil, a key ingredient in Bravo, which is used by tillage farmers to fight septoria and ramularia.

Cost-efficient product

“The one good thing about Bravo is that it is a cost-efficient product. There will be alternatives available in the future, but will be they be as cost-effective for the farmer and will they be as effective as Bravo,” Miller told the Irish Farmers Journal.

We have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world

He also said that any alternative products will have to be tested in the Irish climate as well.

Miller also hit out at the importation of grain from around the world into Ireland.

“Yet we have to stand back and allow imports of grains from all over the world, with different standards applied, arrive into the country to be fed to livestock.

“We, as tillage farmers, are being made fools of by the EU talking out of both sides of their mouth.

"The Irish grain quality assurance system is a joke when our Irish grain can be mixed with any sort of grain and waste in merchants' and millers' processing plants,” he said.

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Chlorothalonil to be discontinued

Loss of CTL could result in 10% yield loss in barley - BASF conference