Ross 'agrees to proper consultation process' for Galway Greenway
Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan have agreed to a consultation process with landowners on the Athlone to Galway stretch of the Dublin to Galway Greenway.

Both ministers met with a stakeholder delegation this Thursday to discuss future plans for the Roscommon and Galway section of the off-road cycle route from Dublin to Galway known as the Dublin to Galway Greenway.

Adrian Kelly of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA), who was present at the meeting, said in a statement that the group got “a really good hearing” and the ministers have “agreed that the only way forward is to have a proper consultation process”.

Kelly also said the case for an agreed route, which would include a mixture of secondary public roads and other public lands rather than family farms, was made very strongly.

“The group made a strong case for a consultative committee involving the local stakeholders and insisted that the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders must be taken off the table,” said Kelly. “All of this was taken on board by the ministers,” he added.

The pause button

A decision to halt work on the Roscommon and Galway section of the Greenway was made in October 2015 by former Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe. The decision followed the publication of a report by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which found there were strong objections from farmers and landowners to the project as the cycle way would cut through their land.

It is clear that the top-down approach which ignores the feelings of local landowners has been a failure

In June 2016, however, Minister Ross indicated that he wants to lift the “pause button” on this section of the Greenway, saying he wants “to ensure it will go ahead soon”.

Top down approach a “failure”

Also commenting on Thursday’s meeting with the two ministers, ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said that the organisation has had “numerous meetings” in Galway and Roscommon on this issue and “it is clear that the top-down approach which ignores the feelings of local landowners has been a failure”.

The meeting on Thursday was facilitated by Roscommon-South Leitrim Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Read more

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Full coverage: Greenway

Good week/bad week: winners and losers in Irish farming
We take a look at who had a week to remember in Irish farming and who had a week to forget.

It was a good week for…

  • Farmers in the Sheep Welfare Scheme, as the Department of Agriculture confirmed that payments under the scheme are to issue from the end of November.
  • Beef factories, after an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar defended their right to make a profit from the industry.
  • Farmers in general, as more farmers are set to gain from the new Areas of Natural Constraint maps which will be released this month.
  • The Irish Farmers Journal, as it took home the Digital Excellence award at the 2018 Newsbrands Ireland Journalism Awards held in the Mansion House on 15 November.
  • It was a bad week for. . .

  • Aurivo suppliers, as it announced a 1c/l price cut for October milk, with suppliers receiving a base price of 29.4c/l excluding VAT.
  • UK prime minister Theresa May, as despite finally coming to agreement with the EU on a withdrawal agreement, her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and work and pensions secretary Esther McVey resigned.
  • Those in the Fair Deal scheme, as further delays appear to be in store for long-awaited changes to the nursing home scheme.
  • Some farmers, as despite updated legislation and Government guidelines, some actively farmed land remains on the register of sites carrying a heavy tax liability in the new year.
    The farmer's daily wrap: plant-based 'steak' and Nuffield conference
    Here is your news roundup of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for 17 November.

    Weather forecast

    Saturday is forecast to be a mostly dry day, with a few patches of mist and drizzle.

    Met Éireann has said that cloud will break at times to allow a few bright or sunny spells through.

    Top temperatures will vary between 11°C to 14°C.

    In the news

  • A new plant-based ‘steak’ appeared on the shelves in Tesco Ireland this week.
  • Looking at the weekend weather, it will be mostly fine and sunny, with some mist and drizzle in parts.
  • Payments to farmers under year two of the Sheep Welfare Scheme are due to hit accounts by the end of November.
  • Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has defended the right of beef factories to make a profit from the industry.
  • Leadership and the ability to attract good people to work on dairy farms dominated the conversation at this year’s Nuffield Ireland annual conference in Dublin on Friday.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • More details on the Shannon dredging points.
  • Five reasons you should go to Dairy Day 2018.
  • We go island-hopping - Mayo style.
    EU cuts tax on Russian fertiliser by one third
    The one-third cut in anti-dumping duty is equal to €12/t on CAN.

    The EU Commission has cut duties on Russian ammonium nitrate by one third, raising the prospect of more competition in supply of nitrogen fertilisers and downward pressure on prices.

    The decision follows the Commission’s two-year review of the anti-dumping duties, made at the request of the IFA and other EU farm organisations. The duties have been in place for decades.

    Change

    The change, confirmed this week in the Official Journal of the European Union, sees duties cut from €47/t to €32/t for most grades of ammonium nitrate.

    The reduction equates to €12/t on CAN, according to the IFA.

    This would protect farmers and help restore incomes and competitiveness

    “Irish fertiliser suppliers must reflect this reduction in CAN prices to the trade,” IFA Munster chair John Coughlan said.

    He also called for a change in how fertiliser prices are quoted to farmers.

    “Many merchants complain that they can’t obtain quotes from importers or blenders. That needs to change.

    "Irish merchants should move to quoting for fertiliser on a 24/7 basis, reflecting the way business is done from manufacturers to blenders and distributors.”

    2019 review

    The EU Commission will carry out a periodic review of its anti-dumping duties on Russian ammonium nitrate in 2019.

    IFA president Joe Healy said that the Commission should introduce a minimum import price system.

    “This would protect farmers and help restore incomes and competitiveness. Some EU manufacturers have become accustomed to double-digit profit margins due to the protection afforded by EU anti-dumping duties and customs tariff.”

    Read more

    Analysis: are we entering a period of fertiliser price rises?

    EU on track to cut fertiliser tax