Showcase of locally led agri-environmental schemes opens in Wexford
Locally led schemes are agri-environmental schemes that focus on identifying environmental issues at a local level and designing solutions to those issues.

A showcase of the 23 locally led agri-environmental schemes has opened in the Department of Agriculture’s offices in Johnstown Castle in Wexford.

The Department is investing a total of €59m in these schemes. Measures are designed at a local rather than national level to tackle specific challenges to an area’s environment.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Andrew Doyle opened the exhibition and said the funding was an investment in “the passion of Ireland’s agri sector and their efforts to enhance the environment”.

Minister Doyle, who is running for election to the European Parliament in the Ireland south constituency, said locally designed and led schemes enabled greater flexibility in responding to environmental challenges in different areas.

Southeast

Locally led schemes based in the southeast region were of special focus at today’s event:

  • Blackstairs Farming Futures (€1.5m): This project aims to deliver innovative ecosystem services within the Blackstairs Mountains of Co Carlow and Co Wexford.
  • Protecting Farming Pollinators (€1.2m): The National Biodiversity Data Centre intend to put measures in place to protect farmland pollinators.
  • Sustainable Uplands Agri-Environment Scheme (SUAS) (€1.95m): The SUAS project in the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains aims to address the complex challenges associated with the management of commonages and farms in the uplands.
  • Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme (€550,000): This project is focused on contributing to the recovery and long-term retention of the Blue Flag status at Duncannon Beach in Wexford.
  • Following its display in Wexford, the exhibition will be moving to other DAFM public offices around the country.

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    The farmer's daily wrap: farm fatality, African swine fever and bees
    Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Saturday 24 May.

    Weather forecast

    Met Éireann has said that it will be rather cloudy at first on Saturday, with patches of light rain or drizzle, mainly affecting the western half of the country.

    Cloud is forecast to start to break later in the morning, with spells of sunshine for the afternoon and evening.

    However, Atlantic coastal areas will remain quite dull and damp.

    It looks set to be a humid day, with top temperatures ranging from 16°C to 20°C in light to moderate southwesterly breezes.

    In the news

  • There is a mixed bag of weather ahead for the weekend, with showers, sunshine and highs of 20°C.
  • Minister warning to holiday-makers over African swine fever: “Don’t bring back your sandwich; don’t bring back your salami.”
  • A man in his 60s has died following an accident on a farm in Aughnacliffe, Co Longford.
  • Just 207t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) remains in the EU’s intervention measure.
  • And Irish citizens are being asked to report sightings of bees in a nationwide online survey.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • Free trailer marking against theft.
  • The latest from Newford Farm.
    Three-man race for ICSA president
    The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) will elect a new president in June.

    Three candidates are in the running to become the next president of the ICSA following the close of nominations on Friday evening.

    In alphabetical order, these candidates are as follows:

  • Hugh Farrell, Cavan.
  • Dermot Kelleher, Cork west.
  • Edmond Phelan, Waterford.
  • The election will take place in Portlaoise on the evening of Thursday 27 June.

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    Watch: vegetable growers turn on the irrigation systems
    O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming have both turned on the irrigation pumps this week.

    In order to combat dry conditions, O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming were irrigating crops this week.

    Julian Hughes says he has never irrigated as early as May before and that he has two reels out at the moment, but will be putting another two out next week if there is no rain in the meantime.

    “We have a 30mm soil moisture deficit,” he said.

    “The fear of a repeat of 2018 is palpable in the yard at home, there’s dust everywhere.”

    In a normal year, he said that he would irrigate the crops in July and August.

    But so far he has put 30mm on parsnips and followed up five days later with another 30mm.

    “You could ask are we selecting higher-yielding varieties that need more inputs. But I’m using the same variety with the last 20 years.

    "It’s just very dry. We need 50mm over three days to get things balanced up.”

    Agronomist with O’Shea farms Tom Murray said that it would be normal for them to be irrigating at this time of year. They grow carrots in Piltown and Carrick-on-Suir.

    “We’re putting on 12mm to 15mm, not any more than that. We don’t want to wash away any pre-emergence spray,” Tom said.

    “There has been years before when we needed to irrigate to encourage germination. But the soil is starting to dry out and we want to be ahead of it.”

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    Crops remain in good condition but have become more variable