NEW Irish Dairy Farmer magazine out now!
The Irish Dairy Farmer magazine is available to order online at and in all good newsagents.

Irish Dairy Farmer magazine – ORDER IT ONLINE HERE for €5.00 incl. P&P

In this edition, we look at drainage solutions, the importance of soils, grass growth, new systems, relief milking, investment and employment in the dairy industry. We chat to farmers from Kerry, Clare, Tyrone, Meath, Cork, Tipperary, Staffordshire and Nottingham.

Black and white pattern for profit: Kerry farmer John O'Sullivan is a strong believer in the Holstein Fresian breed and has been increasing the EBI of his herd for the last five years, with the aim of getting as much grass as possible into the diet to keep feed costs low.

A Keane eye for progress: Donal Keane's Kerry farm has heavy peat soils and is located near Lisselton, just outside Listowel. The wet September and October took their tool, but grazing continued.

Ryan flair: Tipperary farmer TJ Ryan talks about grabbing the opportunity when grazing conditions allow – with all stock out day and night.

The only way is up: because of its elevation, Con Lehane's Cork farm can be cold and wet, which has an effect on its drainage. There were two elements to the drainage plan – the first dealt with open drains at the field perimeter, while the other involved field drains.

Less stress Muir success: a desire to live in the English countryside and starting out as a dairy farmer led to Hames Muir giving up a promising career with a security firm in 2012.

Fresh thinking and new blood: Aidan Brennan visits the Farrell family farm in Kilmessan, Co.Meath, which is undergoing a system change and substantial expansion.

The Clune is in the title: focusing investment on productive assets has led to Clare farmer Francis Clune winning the Munster regional category in the 2017 Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards.

Pastures new: the 30-mile journey from East Midlands Airport in Derby, England, to Halem, Nottingham can best be described as dull and grey. You pass through a monotony of what appear to be soulless, industrial towns. This is middle England. But a change of colour greets you on arrival at the Sharman family farm.

Irish Dairy Farmer magazine – ORDER IT ONLINE HERE for €5.00 incl. P&P

IFA to oppose farm loan sales at AIB meeting
Farmer representatives will highlight the sale of farmers' debts to vulture funds as the bank's shareholders gather this week.

IFA representatives will lobby AIB shareholders at the bank's annual in Dublin this Wednesday.

The IFA will "have a presence outside the AIB AGM in Dublin" a statement from the organisation reads.

It continues: "This is part of a planned campaign to be rolled out nationally against AIB’s plans to sell certain farmer loans as part of its most recent loan sale."

Earlier this month, the Irish Farmers Journal revealed that around 100 farm loans were included in AIB's planned sale of debts to an affiliate of US-based vulture fund Cerberus.

While not a call for a farmers' protest, the small-scale lobbying is likely to be repeated around the country in the coming weeks, an IFA spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

AIB is 71% owned by the Irish Government.

Read more

Banks in last-chance saloon with public

Up to 100 farms in AIB loan sale

Exclusive: Rabobank sells 1,800 farm loans

Queally brothers firm falls foul of EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the latest National Priority Sites list, with five businesses not meeting the necessary environmental standards.

Five sites are on the latest list for failing to meet the necessary environmental standards set out by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

One of the companies, food processor Arrow Group, is owned by the Queally brothers, who also own Dawn Meats.

Arrow Group previously appeared on the environment watchlist in January this year.

All the companies on the list face further enforcement action from the EPA to secure compliance.

The five sites represent less than 1% of industrial sites licensed by the EPA, but account for 21% of complaints received.

Three sites are new to the list, while Glanbia Food Ireland Ltd and Rosderra Irish Meats have been removed from the list that was published in January.

The five companies included are:

  • Arrow Group, Kildare – noise and odour complaints.

  • Euroflex Teoranta, Donegal – emissions to air and waste management.

  • Western Brand Group Ltd, Mayo – wastewater management.

  • East Cork Landfill Site, Cork – landfill gas and leachate management.

  • Arran Chemical Company Ltd, Roscommon – emissions to air and groundwater.


Licensed facilities are identified as national priority sites for enforcement using a system developed by the EPA.

Points are allocated to each site based on compliance data such as complaints, incidents and non-compliances over the previous six months.

Sites which exceed a certain threshold become a national priority site and are targeted by the EPA for further enforcement action.

The farmer's daily wrap: lamb prices, milk production and Donegal wildfire
Here is your news round-up of the top five farming stories today, Monday 22 April.

Weather forecast

Tuesday morning will feature scattered heavy showers but it will be mainly dry for the afternoon/evening.

Met Éireann is forecasting hazy sunshine and another warm day, with top temperatures of 17°C to 21°C in light to moderate southeast breezes.

In the news

  • The Air Corps is to join fire brigades battling a Co Donegal gorse fire that began in the early hours of Monday.
  • Milk production in both New Zealand and the Netherlands has been tightening significantly in the first quarter of 2019.
  • The timing of two religious festivals, Easter and Ramadan, could bode well for lamb prices for the next five years.
  • The Department of Agriculture will host Basic Payment Scheme clinics in Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath and Monaghn this week.
  • Watch potato, grain and beef farmer Mark McGurdy sow cereals through the night in Co Antrim.
  • - Coming up tomorrow, 23 April 2019:

  • Leitrim suckler farmer Karen McCabe on the never-ending battle with rushes, a weak calf and an unexpected win in the show ring.
  • The latest update from the BETTER farm beef programme from Matthew Halpin.
  • A look at what's happening on the international grain markets from Stephen Robb.