Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Compliance costs probed

Farmers will soon find out exactly how much complying with European rules affects their pocket.

The European Commission is to study the costs incurred by European farmers in abiding by all the rules governing animal health, welfare and safety.

The Commission has called for tenders to a pilot project on assessing farmers' costs of compliance with EU legislation in the fields of environment, animal welfare and food safety.

It says the purpose of the pilot project is to analyse the costs of compliance with environmental, animal welfare and food safety legislation for both EU and third-country farmers, to compare the situation between the EU and its main trading partner countries.

The results will be used to assess the impact of stringent European legislation on the competitiveness of EU agriculture.

The maximum budget for the project is set at €1.5m and the deadline for submitting offers is September 30.

US loses 30pc of cotton crop

A record 30pc of the US cotton crop could be abandoned this year after the worst drought conditions in a century.

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Texas is one of the worst affected states and farmers without irrigation are not expected to have any crop this year. Texas produces half of the total US cotton crop and experts say that about 50pc of the Texas crop will be abandoned because of the drought.

More than 70pc of the state experienced exceptional drought last month, killing non-irrigated crops in the panhandle and south plains regions. Many farmers there will choose to make crop-insurance claims rather than harvest what's left of the crop.

The cotton disaster has affected the bottom line for many clothing manufacturers, including Gap, the largest US chain, and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Meanwhile, cattle ranchers are sending cattle to slaughter well before time because they do not have enough grass and are already using up winter hay supplies.

Biomass study given EU funds

Teagasc research on growing biomass on marginal land is among several Irish projects that have been granted €6.1m in European funding.

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said he was delighted that a number of researchers from Irish institutes and agri-food businesses would be funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

The minister particularly congratulated Dr Susanne Barth, of Teagasc, who is leading a research team from 10 countries on a project to enhance biomass production from marginal lands with perennial grasses.

Irish researchers were involved in 20pc of the recent awards by the EU Commission in the areas of food, agriculture, fisheries and biotechnology.

The successful applicants included Teagasc, the Marine Institute, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Limerick Institute of Technology.

Irish researchers have secured more than €20.3m in research funding under FP7 since 2007.

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