Weekly podcast: chlorine clampdown, bank protest and farming women's pensions
In this week's podcast, we discuss restrictions on chlorine use in milking parlours, and we hear the IFA oppose the loan of AIB farm loans and the Women's Council call for farm pension equality.


Click here to download this week's podcast.

Chlorine monitoring programme

Dairygold will be introducing a chlorine monitoring programme and increasing testing for suppliers providing milk for Danone infant milk formula this year. Maeve O'Connor, milk quality advisor with the co-op speaks to Hannah Quinn-Mulligan.

Brexit compensation

Dairy farmers have been urged to sell their cull cows to the factory rather than the mart in order to avail of future Brexit compensation. President of the ICMSA Pat McCormack told Hannah Quinn-Mulligan that he believes compensation will be based on cattle the farmer has sent to the factory, not sold through the mart.


Niall Hurson speaks with IFA farm business chair Martin Stapleton and deputy president Richard Kennedy at a protest against the sale of AIB farm loans to vulture funds.

Solar panels

While pig, poultry or dairy farmers can reduce their electricity bills with solar panels, drystock farmers will have to wait for an opportunity to sell excess power into the grid to make investments worthwhile – but this is coming, Alan Jackson of the Tipperary Energy Agency told Thomas Hubert.


Catherine Lane of the National Women's Council of Ireland is calling on the Government to introduce a once-off retrospective payment for farm women who lost out on pensions as a result of the marriage bar.

Mental health

Dairy and beef farmer Joe speaks to Hannah Quinn-Mulligan about his struggles with depression and mental health at a talk organised by Macra na Feirme as part of their "Make a Moove" talk series.

European Innovation Partnership projects

European Commission policy officer Inge Van Oost talks to news correspondent Odile Evans about the European Innovation Partnership projects happening in Ireland.

Farm safety

Niall Hurson speaks with Tipperary North IFA chair Imelda Walsh about the farm safety experience held on the Moran family farm in Co Tipperary. Padraig Moran also speaks about his decision to remain as a suckler and sheep farmer.

Missed the previous episodes of the podcast? Catch up here!

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.

    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