Rubber mats to heat detection – Irish agtech products at EuroTier
The EuroTier exhibition, which attracts over 160,000 visitors, took place in Hanover and a number of Irish agtech companies took the opportunity to launch new products.

A number of Irish agtech products were launched at EuroTier in Hanover, Germany this week. Over 160,000 visitors attended the event focused on highlighting technologies for successfully combining productivity and animal welfare.

Agritech – international poultry market

Agritech, based in Tipperary, has followed the launch of their ruminant products into the Egyptian market by agreeing a new deal to supply products for the poultry market. They have signed a deal with IFT Egypt, an animal health company, to supply Salomega. Salomega is an essential fatty acid supplement developed for the enrichment of Omega-3 in eggs and to improve fertility in male breeders.

Moocall – heat detection collar

Moocall announced details of their new heat detection product. Moocall HEAT is a collar worn by a stock or teaser bull. Moocall eartags are then attached to all cows and heifers. The collar can then use proximity, mounting behaviour and bull activity levels to determine when a cow or heifer is in heat.

EasyFix – livestock housing

A new range of cow cubicles, rubber slat systems, an innovative feed barrier and a full range of environmental enrichment devices for pigs was launched by Galway company EasyFix.

Terra Nutritech – smart liquid controller

Terra Nutritech launched their smart liquid controller to the international market. The controller is an automated dosing system which adds minerals to cows’ drinking water. The system has attracted interest from the US, Europe and Asia. The company are currently negotiating strategic partnerships which will see the technology roll out to six countries in early 2019.

‘Irish Advantage’

EuroTier saw 18 Irish agritech companies showcase their products under the Enterprise Ireland “Irish Advantage” banner.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment and Business Pat Breen, who attended the exhibition said: “Germany is a key export market for Ireland. As Europe’s largest economy and the fourth largest in the world. It offers substantial growth opportunities and potential for increased collaboration in the agritech sector for innovative and ambitious Irish companies.

I would like to commend all the Enterprise Ireland companies participating in the exhibition for their innovation and ambition.”

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EU adopts new rules on fertiliser quality and safety
The new fertiliser rules will cover all types of fertiliser in the EU and will set limits on contaminants such as cadmium.

The EU has adopted new rules for fertiliser products placed on the European market aimed at ensuring their quality and safety.

The regulation harmonises the requirements for fertilisers produced from phosphate minerals and from organic or secondary raw materials. It sets limits for contaminants in fertiliser such as cadmium and outlines labelling requirements.

Cadmium and other fertiliser contaminants can potentially pose a risk to human, animal and plant health as well as the environment.

Rules

Nearly half of the fertilisers on the EU market are not covered by the existing legislation, the 2003 Fertilisers Regulation. Existing rules cover mainly conventional fertilisers, typically extracted from mines or produced chemically while the new regulation will cover all types of fertiliser.

The Romanian Minister of Economy Niculae Badalau, who oversaw the passing of the regulation, said: “These new rules will ensure that only fertilisers that meet high quality and safety EU-wide requirements and standards can be sold freely across the EU.”

Fertilisers which fulfil the new requirements will bear the "CE" marking and benefit from free circulation in the internal market of the EU. Fertilisers that do not bear the CE marking will still have the possibility of placing them on their national market.

The limits for cadmium content in CE-marked phosphate fertilisers will be 60mg/kg.

Organic fertilisers

The regulation should prove a boost to the production and use of phosphate fertilisers with low cadmium content and of organic fertilisers. Minister Badalau said it would provide a greater choice to farmers oriented towards more environmental-friendly agriculture.

The regulations will now be signed and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Following its publication it will enter into force after 20 days and start applying from three years after that.

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Farmer airlifted to hospital following cow attack
The farmer is in hospital following the attack but his condition is not life threatening.

A Cavan man in his 60s was airlifted to hospital following an attack by a cow on a farm in Bailieboro, Co Cavan.

The incident occurred at midday on Tuesday 21 May and the man received “serious injuries”, according to Gardaí.

He is currently in Tallaght University Hospital but his injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

Gardaí and HSA are also investigating the death of a farmer involving a tractor which occurred in Fermoy last week.

Ireland waiting for terms of €50m Brussels beef fund - Varadkar
An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday about the Brexit beef fund.

Ireland is waiting to see the terms and conditions of the €50m in funding from Brussels before it decides how the Brexit beef compensation is rolled out to farmers, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday.

Fifty-million euro in exceptional aid is to be provided to beef farmers given the collapse in beef prices in recent months. Ireland “will have to provide matching funding”, Varadkar said. This brings the total fund to €100m.

He added: “We do not yet have the terms and conditions from the Commission, but as soon as we get them we will be able to develop a scheme and ensure that farmers get the money they need as soon as possible.”

However, speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal on Monday this week, EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said that it will be up to the beef industry and the Department of Agriculture in Ireland to decide how the scheme is rolled out.

It will be a matter for Minister Creed to sit down with the beef sector to work out how it’s going to be paid

“We didn’t launch the inter-service consultation within the Commission yet, which we will launch this week,” Commissioner Hogan said on Monday. "Therefore, it will be a matter for Minister Creed to sit down with the beef sector to work out how it’s going to be paid.”

Once the implementing regulation has been adopted by the Commission, it then has to be voted on by the member states in a management committee. It will be following this committee approval that the Department of Agriculture can devise the scheme.

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