Two thirds of satellite inspection results received by the Department
As ANC payments continue to issue to farmers, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that results had been received for 66% of farms selected for a satellite inspection.

The Department of Agriculture has received the results of two thirds of remote-sensing (satellite) inspections carried out in 2018.

It was confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that 90% of the 8,000 land-eligibility inspections required as part of EU regulations would be conducted as satellite inspection.

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed provided the progress update in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Eamon Scanlon about efforts being made to issue ANC payments.

Payment stage

The Minister said that of the 66% of cases, three quarters had been processed to the payment stage, with an ANC payment having issued to 73% of those cases.

In addition to land eligibility, ANC payments are also subject to other checks, such as stocking density and stock retention. To date, payments have been issued to over 80,000 farmers in the scheme.

In cases where an over-declaration in area is identified as part of the inspection process, the Minister said his Department would be in contact with the affected applicant.

Read more

Satellites to carry out 90% of land eligibility inspections

Inspections and stocking rates delay ANC money for 13,000 farmers

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 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.

Read more

Family-owned feedlots entitled to compensation – ICSA

Brexit beef compensation: what farmer groups want

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.”

Read more

Fields drying up as some farmers wait for rain

Flood risk farmers urged to make submissions

Crops remain in good condition but have become more variable

Investigation launched into compromised DkIT agriculture exam
An examination paper sat by final-year agriculture science students in DkIT was compromised and students have to resit it.

Final-year agriculture students in Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) must resit an examination after a paper was compromised.

In a statement, head of school of health and science at DkIT Dr Edel Healy said that on 20 May the college became aware that an examination paper sat by final-year students on one programme on 14 May was compromised.

As a result, all students in the class must now resit the examination on Friday 24 May or at a later date to be decided in August.

Investigation

“DkIT has launched an active investigation into the circumstances surrounding this issue,” Dr Healy said.

“All students affected by this situation have now been contacted and reassured that any repeat exams if required after the August sitting will be scheduled prior to the completion of the autumn exam board process.

"This will ensure that all successful students may be conferred in November as planned.”

Stress

The college recognised the additional stress and inconvenience to students and extended study hours have been provided at the library.

“The protection of academic integrity and assessment is of the utmost importance at DkIT and the institute follows best practice to ensure security of its examinations process.

"As part of the current investigation, an extensive review of our examination processes and procedures will be carried out,” said Dr Healy.

“I would like the thank our students for their continued understanding and co-operation during this process.”