DAERA’s case for potato flood support

Civil servants in DAERA are building a case for financial support to be made available to local potato growers impacted by floods and heavy rain in recent weeks.

“DAERA is gathering evidence and developing a business case for potential support for affected potato growers,” a department spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

Funding for a potential potato scheme will have to come from a £15m package, which NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris has reallocated to help with clean-up costs and support businesses affected by flooding.

“Any potential scheme seeking to access the £15m package must demonstrate value for money and will be assessed against other demands on that funding envelope,” a spokesperson said. “Given these demands, there is no guarantee that a programme for potato growers can be developed.”

Agri contractors to get safety inspections

The Health and Safety Executive for NI (HSENI) will carry out a wave of inspections on agricultural contractors in NI from November 2023 through to March 2024.

The inspections will focus on safety across three broad areas, namely drivers, vehicles and sites.

“We will provide help and advice, but where necessary HSENI Inspectors will take enforcement action to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation,” said Camilla Mackey from HSENI.

The body has announced new inspection programmes across several industries in recent weeks. Quarries are to be inspected through to January 2024 and the haulage sector will be inspected until March 2024.

Animal health firm issues re-call for Finadyne

MSD Animal Health has issued a re-call for two batches of the pain relief drug Finadyne 50mg/ml Solution for injection.

It applies to products with the batch numbers 3044 and 2030, which have expiry dates of December 2025 and February 2025 respectively.

According to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the reason for the re-call relates to the “presence of precipitate”.

Biomethane injected into NI gas grid

Having installed a £1.2m gas to grid system at its anaerobic digestor in Dungannon, Granville Eco Park has now started injecting biomethane into the local gas network.

The company, owned by Bio Capital Group, has the capability to export enough gas to decarbonise Dungannon’s entire annual gas consumption. The system went live on Thursday, 16 November.

AgriSearch to hold research conference

Farmer funded research body, AgriSearch is holding a conference on Tuesday, 28 November, which will look at what research and innovation is required in the ruminant livestock sector to help meet challenges around costs and a changing climate.

Registration opens at 10am, with the conference starting at 10.30am and concluding by 1pm. All are welcome to attend and places can be booked via the AgriSearch website.