New tractor registrations down 27% in NI

There were 382 new tractors registered in NI during 2020, equating to a 27% decrease year on year, according to data from the Agricultural Engineers’ Association (AEA).

In Scotland, new tractor registrations were down 17.5%, with 1,252 machines registered during 2020.

Overall in the UK, AEA figures indicate that new tractor sales fell by 14% last year, as 10,380 new registrations were recorded over the period.

The average horsepower (hp) of new agricultural tractors registered in the UK stood at 171hp last year, representing a rise of nearly 30hp over the past 10 years.

DAERA loses £5m in annual TB fund

Over £5m of annual funding that came from the European Commission for bovine TB control in NI, will not be replaced by the British Treasury, Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has confirmed.

In response to a written question from SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone, Minister Poots said that the funding was set to be worth £15.3m over the next three years.

“There will be no separate funding to replace the income DAERA has received for many years from the EU fund for disease eradication,” he said.

DAERA money will have to be used to replace the funding gap in its bovine TB programme, which is estimated to have an overall cost of £36m in the 2020/21 year.

Rural Support February workshops

A new series of ‘Coping with the Pressures of Farming’ workshops is returning in 2021, with two initial dates announced for February.

Delivered by Rural Support as part of CAFRE’s Farm Family Key Skills programme, the workshops encourage participants to think about changes they could make to improve their mental and emotional wellbeing.

The online events are limited to 10 farm families, start at 7.30pm and last for around one hour 30 minutes. Farmers can register using the CAFRE website.

The first two workshops will take place on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 18 February. Further dates will be arranged.