How to beat the criminals
These five security tips will help deter criminals from targeting your farm, says Keith Daly of Total Security Systems, based in Athboy, Co Meath, which operates throughout the Dublin, North Leinster, Cavan and Monaghan.
* Keep your farmyard tidy and don't leave quads, trailers and tools scattered about the yard. Pack this equipment safely away in secured sheds.
* Keep your outhouses and sheds in a good state of repair. Often farmers get calls from total strangers wondering if they want their sheds or barns painted at a competitive price when in fact these characters are just "casing the farmyard" in the full expectation of a return illegal late night visit.
The same applies to strangers who express an interest in buying some of your farm equipment.
In other words deal with tradesmen and buyers whom you know.
* Secure your farm entrances with good locks or an automatic security gate and make sure you have an alarm system connected to internal farm entrances and cow paths near the farm yard.
* Buy a CCTV alarm system for your farmyard. The average price is €2,000 for a three camera unit which is VAT redeemable and the expenditure can be off set against tax.
When the system is installed connect it to your computer and get a mobile phone app which will show you what is going on at the yard at any time of the day and night.