Weekly podcast: Michael O'Leary, Supervet, suckler and tillage farmers
In this week's podcast, we interview Ryanair's boss and Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, visit suckler and tillage farmers, attend a BPS clinic and hear from a banker and a mart manager.


Click here to download this week's podcast.

Michael O’Leary

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary talks to Hannah Quinn-Mulligan about farm organisations, losing money on cattle and the "fad" of veganism.

Dietary advice in schools

Prof John Fitzgerald, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, updates Irish Farmers Journal news correspondent Thomas Hubert on progress with the council’s report on agriculture and the recent controversy on dietary advice for school students.

Farming challenges

Matthew Halpin speaks to Waterford BETTER farmer Maurice Hearne about the challenges and successes on his farm over the last twelve months.


Matthew Halpin asks BETTER farm adviser John Greaney about spring 2019, calf buying and under 16-month bulls on the programme farms.

Tommy Moyles attended last weeks Irish Family Farm Rights Group meeting in Kenmare. The event was seeking support for a €300 payment for suckler cows. Afterwards he spoke to local farmer Stephen O'Shea and Iveragh Mart manager, Mike Kissane to get their views.

From the Tramlines

Stephen Robb talks to Co Donegal tillage farmer David Moody, who started planting spring crops again this week.


Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick is a pioneering veterinary surgeon with his own TV show and is from a farm in Co Laois. Ahead of a signing of his new autobiography he spoke to Anne O’Donoghue about making his father proud, overcoming school bullies and living a hectic life.

Basic Payment Scheme

Peter Varley talks to Brian Alcock from the Department of Agriculture and farmer James O’Meara from Ballymahon at the Basic Payment Scheme clinic that was held in the Longford Arms hotel last week.

Agricultural borrowings

Cormac McKervey from Ulster Bank gives an overview of current agricultural borrowings in Northern Ireland to Peter McCann.

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