Farm Ireland

Friday 15 December 2017

Billions of illegal eggs

Billions of eggs will be produced illegally in Europe from January 1 if the European Commission presses ahead with its plans to ban eggs from conventional caged hens.

Ireland East MEP Mairead McGuinness warned that up to 12 member states were in danger of breaking the new law because of issues with planning and the credit crunch hampering the change to the new system.

Ms McGuinness warned of the public outcry that would ensue if such an amount of eggs had to be destroyed.

Single pig to 238 cows

Ireland's top dairy farmer, Michael Enright, started out with just one pig at 12 years of age and built up his business to a 238-animal enterprise in Co Limerick.

Michael and his son Thomas were the overall winners of this year's National Dairy Council Quality Milk Awards, netting the NDC perpetual cup and the top prize of €5,000.

Michael's farming career began with a single sow he shared with his brother. Each time the sow produced a litter, she generated enough cash to buy one heifer and he credits the sow with funding the purchase of his first seven cows.

Cuts 'to hurt forest sector'

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Cutting forestry premiums to fund an afforestation budget, as hinted at Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, would undermine the sector, farmers have warned.

IFA forestry chairman Pat Hennessy said the minister's budgetary priority should be to pay existing commitments.

"Cutting forest premiums again to fund an afforestation programme would show disregard for the commitment made by farmers and jeopardise the development of the sector," he claimed. "Why would a farmer commit his land to forestry for all time, when there is no guarantee that forest premiums will be honoured?"

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