Two €2,500 scholarships open for Leaving Cert students
Applications are now open for Aurivo’s Gaffney and Mulleady Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Scholarship programme.

Two scholarships worth €2,500 each are on offer to students who are considering a Level 7 or Level 8 third-level degree course in agriculture, food or nutrition this September.

The scholarship programme, Aurivo’s Gaffney and Mulleady Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Scholarship Programme, is open to students in Aurivo’s catchment area.

The scholarships are rewarded to individuals who achieve academic excellence in their Leaving Certificate and to support them in developing careers in agri-related professions.

Pat Duffy, chair of Aurivo, said the scholarship programme was established to support enthusiastic students who are interested in agri-related professions.

“Aurivo understands the commitment it takes to pursue a career in this field and we are delighted to play our part in supporting and enabling young people in the northwest of Ireland to do so.

“I would encourage any student who is enrolling in agriculture, food or nutrition courses for the 2019-2020 academic year to submit an application for this fantastic educational opportunity,” he said.

Now in its third year, Aurivo established and sponsors the programme in memory of Paddy Gaffney and Sean Mulleady who died tragically in 2013.

The recipients of last year’s awards were Saoirse Fox, from Cloone, Co Leitrim, who studied at Mohill Community College before embarking on a bachelor of science in agriculture and environmental management at GMIT and Jack Kirrane from Milltown in Tuam, who studied at St Jarlath’s College in Tuam before studying a bachelor of science in agricultural science at UCD.

Students must complete the scholarship application form no later than 28 June 2019. Queries in relation to the scholarship programme can be emailed to

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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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    Fields drying up as some farmers wait for rain

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    Crops remain in good condition but have become more variable