Sharp demand for in-lamb ewes at Enniskillen

In-lamb ewes were in high demand at a dispersal sale for Maguiresbridge sheep farmer, Norman Read in Enniskillen Mart on Tuesday 4 January.

A total of 250 February lambing ewes were sold, with prices peaking at £345 for a pen of three- and four-year-old Suffolk Cheviots scanned with quads.

This was followed by £330 paid for a pen of two-year-old twin-bearing ewes, with the main run of prices ranging from £240 to £300.

The remainder of the flock will be dispersed in February.

Loughans Angus top £4,200

A special sale of elite pedigree breeding females from the Loughans herd owned by John and Rory Best sold to a top price of £4,200.

The sale, conducted by Markethill Mart through a timed online auction, offered in-calf, maiden and calved pedigree females.

Topping the sale was Loughans Lady Indiana, a March 2020-born heifer sired by Rawburn Bannockburn and out of the homebred dam, Loughans Lady India.

In-calf heifers sold to an average of £2,557, with calved cows selling to a top price of £2,750 for a first calved heifer with twins at foot.

£500 grant for Scots farming women

The Scottish Government is giving women working in agriculture who want to develop their skills access to a practical training fund. It will be administered by Lantra Scotland. Women and girls over 13 can apply for up to £500, or more on a case-by-case basis, for the cost of a practical or technical training course.

The £75,000 scheme is funded by the Scottish Government, with £20,000 ring-fenced for applicants living in island communities.

Eligible courses include support to get tractor and trailer driving certificates or help to train sheepdogs.

NI agriculture in New Year honours

A number of figures from the NI agri-food industry have received new year honours.

Receiving MBEs were Fane Valley chief executive Trevor Lockhart, for services to the agri-food industry and economy in NI, and Anne Morrison, a founder member and director of Aberdeen Angus Quality Beef, for services to the promotion of Angus cattle and agriculture.

Also on the honours list was former UFU president and Irish Senator Ian Marshall, who received an OBE for public and political service, while Co Down native Terence McKeag received a BEM for services to agriculture and equestrian sport.

31 January slurry export deadline

The deadline for submitting records of slurry exports for the 2021 calendar year is midnight on Monday 31 January 2022.

The form is available on DAERA online services through the “CAFRE Nutrient Calculators” and “Manure Export Records” windows.

Records need to include the date of export, the type and quantity of slurry, the transporter’s name and address, plus the importer’s name and business ID.

Submitting these records is an important task for any non-derogated farmer who had to export slurry to stay under the 170kg/ha manure nitrogen limit during 2021.

Farmers who operate under a nitrates derogation have a 250kg/ha limit for manure nitrogen and have until 1 March to submit information on slurry exports along with additional fertilisation accounts.

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