Weekend weather: more rain on the way
Following on from storm Callum, there is more rain on the way this weekend.

Further rain is forecast through Saturday by Met Éireann, but clearer conditions look set to develop in the west of the country during the afternoon and evening.

Highest temperatures will range between 10°C and 13°C in light breezes. On Saturday night there will be some rain, especially in the north, but this will clear quickly leaving most places dry by morning.

Lowest temperatures will range between 5°C and 6°C, and winds will be fresh northwesterly, backing westerly and moderating later.

Met Éireann has said Sunday will be mostly dry to start, with good sunshine for the morning and scattered showers developing for the afternoon.

There will be temperatures of 11-12°C, with mainly moderate southwest winds falling light southerly later. There will be lowest temperatures on Sunday night of about 5-6°C.

Management notes

Dairy

In this week’s dairy management notes, Aidan Brennan looks at planning for 2019 and the year ahead.

Sheep

Darren Carty looks at indoor finishing, grazing and ram lambs in this week’s sheep management notes.

Beef

In the beef notes this week, Adam Woods looks at grass growth, castration and tetany.

Tillage

Andy Doyle looks at current ground conditions for planting and what conditions are like for spraying.

'Strong demand' for milk lorry and feed delivery haulage course
17 October was the deadline for applications for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme.

Dairygold has reported strong demand for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme, which aims to address the shortage of qualified drivers across the haulage sector in Ireland.

Applications are currently being processed and Dairygold is confident that it will fill the maximum allocation of 20 places for the first professional driver training programme.

The course is due to commence at the end of November and will involve a 15-week training programme, which will be based in Mallow.

“Successful applicants will be allocated to Dairygold’s hauliers across all transport lanes, eg milk collection and feed deliveries.

“The demand and interest in the driver training programme was strong and very positive. A decision on further training programmes will be made in due course,” a spokesperson for Dairygold told the Irish Farmers Journal.

As the dairy industry continues to expand, there is an ever-growing need for skilled and qualified drivers to support the logistics of milk collection and feed delivery, Billy Cronin, head of supply chain at Dairygold, said when the course was announced a number of weeks ago.

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New haulage course for milk lorry and feed delivery drivers

Over 400 farmers travel to fourth tyre recycling centre
The fourth tyre recycling centre was at Gortdrum Mines in Monard, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.

A total of 850 tonnes of tyres were collected from 400 farmers in Tipperary on Saturday. The average volume collected at each of the four bring centres now stands at 1,000t.

While this is the final planned disposal day with the Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG), farmers have called for further "bring centres".

The IFA is calling for a national scheme to be rolled out so that there is one recycling point opened in each county.

IFA environment chair Thomas Cooney said the association has sought a meeting with Minister for State at the Department of Environment Seán Canney.

“We look forward to working with him and his officials to build on the good work so far and ensure we all play our part in keeping the countryside clean,” Cooney said.

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Equivalent of 350,000 car tyres collected from bring centres

Irish farms among the most valuable in the EU
A combination of high land prices and low debt makes the net value of Irish farms among the highest in Europe.

The average Irish farm has a net value of just under €1m, the fourth highest among the 28 EU member states, a comparison of 2015 farm accounting data by the European Commission has found.

UK farms are the most valuable, with a net worth of €1.8m on average, followed by the Netherlands at €1.6m and farms in Denmark at just over €1m.

By contrast, the average Romanian farm is worth just €33,700, the lowest net worth in the EU.

Irish farms hold on average €1m worth of assets, higher than the EU average of €338,600, but only in sixth position in the EU league. Nearly 90% of those assets are land, with only UK farms locking more of their value into farmland.

Meanwhile Irish farms have very low debt levels, far smaller than the EU average of €54,500. Recent CSO figures show that most farms don't have any debt, and the 35% who do owe an average of €60,000 only. Moreover, Irish farmers have secured long-term loans in much larger proportions than their counterparts in most other EU countries, who are more exposed to the need of constantly refinancing short-term loans.

High solvency

As a result, Irish farms have the lowest liabilities-to-assets ratio, under 3%, described by the Commission as a sign of high solvency. "In the case of Ireland, the low liabilities-to-assets ratio mainly reflects relatively high asset values when compared to low liabilities," analysts wrote.

The high value of Irish farms is not reflected in their income ranking. The average Irish farm's net income was higher than the EU average but ranked in 11th position only, far behind the Dutch leaders.

Irish farmers were also the third most reliant on direct payments for their income, with only Greek and Finnish farmers receiving a larger proportion of their income from the BPS system.

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2018 farm incomes to sink to eight-year low