Suspected third bird flu case in Co Clare
A wild bird has died on Lough Derg, with initial tests showing bird flu as the cause of death after two previous cases of a deadly strain of the virus were confirmed in recent weeks.

The volunteer group supporting the re-introduction of white-tailed sea eagles in Mountshannon, Co Clare, has announced the death of a female bird of that species known as Saoirse.

"Toxicology reports confirmed avian influenza (bird flu) as the cause of death," the group said on its Facebook page.

The Department of Agriculture has not yet confirmed whether this bird died of the deadly H5N6 strain of the virus, which killed another white-tailed sea eagle in Co Tipperary in January.

The H5N6 strain has been spreading in wild birds in mainland Europe and Britain, and infected one farm in the Netherlands last month.

A second case of the virus was confirmed in Ireland on Friday when a wild buzzard tested positive after being found dead on the Tipperary shore of Lough Derg.

Precautions

All keepers of birds must register with the Department of Agriculture. Poultry farmers and owners of backyard flocks are encouraged to keep farmed and wild birds segregated with netting and separate feed and water supplies. Different species of farmed birds should also be kept separate, especially ducks and geese.

If you come across dead or sick birds, do not touch them and report them to the Department of Agriculture's avian influenza hotline on 076-106 4403 during normal office hours or 1850-200 456 outside of normal office hours.

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Full coverage: bird flu

The farmer’s daily wrap: Glanbia retirement and water contamination in Cork
Here is your round-up of the top farming stories today, 21 June, and the weather outlook for Friday.

Weather forecast

Tomorrow, Friday, will be another bright day. Some sunny spells at times in all areas with top temperatures 16°C to 20°C. Best values in east Munster and south Leinster.

Friday night will be quite a cool night, with lowest temperatures of 5°C to 8°C in slack variable breezes. A few patches of mist in places also.

In the news

  • Hear all about the gap between large and small food exporters in Brexit readiness.
  • Farmers have been reminded to be mindful of water contamination and follow best practice when spraying after MCPAs were detected in Cork drinking water.
  • The former chair of Glanbia, Henry Corbally, has retired with immediate effect from his position as non-executive director.
  • Aurivo have launched a new app that allows milk producers to access all milk collection details at the click of a button.
  • An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker delivered a joint address at Government buildings today, revealing no withdrawal from the backstop agreement.
  • In this week's editorial, Justin McCarthy looks at the need for a Brexit plan B, the importance of grassland management and BEEF 2018.
  • Have your say

    Now is the time to voice your opinion on the CAP 2020 proposals.

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    Farmers call for action on bullying allegations

    Suspected water contamination kills 54 cows

    Desire to speed-up approval process for safe new pesticides

    Listen: gap between large and small food exporters in Brexit readiness
    Bord Bia's Brexit Barometer shows that agri-food companies have made progress in planning for the UK's exit from the EU, but work remains to be done especially for smaller ones.

    As the prospect of a hard Brexit grows, results from a survey of 117 agri-food exporting companies by Bord Bia show that 54% have made some progress and developed plans in the past year, while 20% describe themselves as having made more advanced progress and taken actions and 26% say they have made no progress.

    While Bord Bia's chief executive Tara McCarthy told the Irish Farmers Journal it was "great to hear" that three quarters of companies had made at least some progress, the detail of risks addressed by exporters shows larger ones are more advanced.

    "For smaller companies, this is a bigger challenge. Larger companies are probably more organised, those over the €100m mark. The smaller companies, specifically those under the €1m mark, don't actually have the resources in many instances to put these scenario plans in place," she said.

    Listen to Tara McCarthy in our podcast below:

    This was apparent in a replies to a number of survey questions on crucial business areas to be affected by Brexit. Asked whether they had modelled the cost of future customs requirements, 40% of companies with a turnover of €100m or more said yes, but this fell sharply to under 20% for those under €1m.

    Some 85% of exporters have looked at expanding into new markets outside the UK.

    "We're looking at a fairly positive story here," said McCarthy. But again, this applies to 100% of larger companies, with lower rates of market diversification among smaller ones.

    McCarthy said it was reassuring to see more companies now addressing the financial aspects of Brexit, such as the need to increase cashflow availability to deal with export VAT when exporting to the UK after it leaves the EU. Exporters have also gotten better at raising Brexit issues in relations with their British customers.

    However, "more needs to be done in the area of customs and tariffs, and the nitty gritty of supply chains," she said. In response, Bord Bia aims to boost its training offer on issues such as currency and supply chain management in the coming months.

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    EU leaders warn of no-deal Brexit

    No withdrawal from the backstop agreement