Craigatoke Lims top Carlisle sale

NI breeders led the way at the British Limousin Cattle Society’s premier sale in Carlisle last Friday, winning the supreme championship and topping the trade.

Craigatoke Seanog, an October 2021-born bull from Martin Conway, Plumbridge, was the star of the show. Sired by Foxhillfarm Ourbest and out of a homebred dam, Seanog was the focus of a bidding frenzy that saw the hammer falling at 52,000gns.

The highlights for NI breeders didn’t stop there, as James McKay, Upperlands, saw his September 2021 bull Ampertaine Superstition take the senior championship and sell for 27,000gns.

Across 80 bulls, prices averaged an exceptional £9,179, with a 71% clearance rate.

EFS Higher open for applications

The application window for the seventh tranche of the higher level of the Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) is open for applications to Friday 19 May 2023.

EFS Higher provides payments to farmers with environmentally designated land or other priority habitat. To check what land is eligible, farmers can go to the EFS application section within DAERA online services.

Those who have an active Tranche 2 higher agreement which ends on 31 December 2023, are eligible to apply to Tranche 7 of the scheme.

If the number of Tranche 7 applications exceeds the resources available, applications will be ranked, and those providing the highest environmental benefit will be selected to proceed.

Casement to host ARCZero farm walk

Ballycastle farmer, Patrick Casement will host an ARCZero farm walk on Wednesday 24 May 2023.

The event will focus on how enhanced biodiversity can also improve the overall carbon footprint of the farm. Among the topics discussed will be regeneration of permanent pasture, multispecies swards, silvopasture, tree management and hedge laying.

There will be two farm walks, starting at 3pm and 7pm. Register at

DAERA still assessing budget cut

DAERA is still assessing how budget cuts for the 2023/24 financial year will be met, a department spokesperson has said.

Last month, NI Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris announced that DAERA’s non-ringfenced budget would effectively reduce by 1.5%.

This does not include a pot of £327m which is set aside for the likes of the Basic Payment Scheme and is not subject to budget cuts.

“The Department is currently assessing the implications of the budget announcement and will be in a position to say more shortly,” a DAERA spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

FFA support for Coleraine protest

The steering committee of Farmers For Action (FFA) in NI has called on farming families and rural dwellers to join a protest against the closure of maternity services at the Causeway Hospital, taking place in Coleraine town centre at 1pm on Saturday 13 May.

According to FFA, the proposed move is the latest in a long line of policy changes targeting essential services, including rural schools, rural hospitals and GP surgeries.

Food and Drink network launched

An advanced food and drink manufacturing network has been launched by the NI Food and Drink Association (NIFDA).

Facilitated by Birnie Consultancy and supported by Invest NI, the network will enable local companies to work together to share knowledge and best practice on how to improve productivity within their businesses.

‘The network is a critical step in helping our food and beverage manufacturers stay competitive in the global marketplace,” said NIFDA executive director Michael Bell.