Perry aims for Irish shearing record

Renowned Co Tyrone sheep shearer, Tom Perry, is attempting to break the Irish nine-hour solo lamb shearing record on Saturday 29 July, while raising money for NI-based charity, Rural Support.

The current record was set in 2019 by Fermanagh’s Stanley Allingham, with 708 lambs shorn during the allocated nine-hour time limit. For Perry to break the current record, he is required to shear one lamb every 45 seconds. The attempt runs from 5am to 5pm, across five shearing sessions. The event is open to the public at the farm of Norma Hoy, Rickamore Brae, Templepatrick, Co Antrim (BT39 0JQ), with live streaming on Tom’s Perry Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Last UK ammonia plant to shut

US-owned CF Fertilisers has announced plans to permanently stop ammonia production at its Billingham complex on Teesside, in the north of England.

The last remaining facility of its kind in the UK, ammonia production was initially shut down in 2022 in response to the surge in natural gas prices. The company intends to continue to produce ammonium nitrate fertiliser at the site using imported ammonia. Its forecasts suggest producing ammonia at Billingham will not be cost effective in the long term, due to high gas prices in the UK relative to other regions. Responding to the announcement, Tom Bradshaw from the National Farmers’ Union said the decision will simply expose the UK fertiliser market to further global volatility.

DAERA not consulting on budget

While a number of government departments in NI are currently going through a public consultation exercise on their 2023/2024 budget allocations made by NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris, DAERA has confirmed it is not undertaking the same process.

Government departments are required to complete an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) if they think a decision is likely to impact on different groups of people across the likes of political opinion, religious belief, disability, age etc.

“It was determined that an EIA was not required and therefore no public consultation was carried out,” a DAERA spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

It is understood that the Department needs to find savings of over £3m in annual running costs in the current financial year.

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