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Sunday 19 February 2017

In brief: Fodder beet area to fall Sixmilebridge sale approved Fischler eyes UN food role

Published 01/02/2011 | 05:00

The area sown to fodder beet could fall by up to 5,000ac this year as growers count the cost of two frost-damaged crops in a row.

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Some 20,000ac of fodder beet was grown last year, but this is expected to fall back closer to 15,000ac in the coming year, Teagasc experts have predicted.

Significant losses were incurred by some growers whose crop turned soft and rotten after the sharp frost.

Losses have been recorded in parts of Tipperary, Wexford, Cork and Kilkenny.

However the damage was extremely variable, with some perfect crops reported in the same counties.

Prices of €30-40/t are being paid for top quality fodder beet, depending on the area and demand. Damaged but edible beet is being sold for €20-25/t delivered locally.

Sixmilebridge sale approved

Farmers in east Clare have given approval for the completion of the purchase of the former Golden Vale Mart at Sixmilebridge after the mart board agreed to accept their offer of €300,000.

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The negotiation group has confirmed that they are now in the process of arranging for the payment of the purchase price and completion of the deal, which is being funded by the investment of local farmers in €50 shares.

The farmers will be targeting a throughput of at least 10,000 animals per annum, at which level they believe that venture will be viable.

The property and adjoining lands originally had an asking price of €600,000, and the mart previously had a throughput of 13,000-15,000hd.

Fischler eyes UN food role

Former EU agriculture commissioner Franz Fischler has announced his attention to apply for the position of head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

The Austrian politician directed a major reform of the EU's agriculture policy during his tenure as commissioner between 1995 and 2004.

The FAO director general post has been held for the past 17 years by Senegal's Dr Jacques Diouf, and it is understood that Spanish foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos will also be a candidate for the position.

The FAO leads international efforts to defeat hunger and it acts as a neutral forum where all nations negotiate agreements and debate agriculture and food policy.

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