| 8.6°C Dublin

Connacht Gold to host farm forum

Connacht Gold Co-op is to hold a major forum on farming in the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, next Wednesday, (January 27) at 7.30pm.

'Ireland West Agriculture -- Its Role in Economic Recovery' will provide information on the prospects for the dairy, beef and sheep sectors, and give expert guidance to farmers on likely trends in costs and margins.

The panel includes Teagasc director Professor Gerry Boyle, Kepak managing director John Horgan, Dr Sean Brady, from the Irish Dairy Board, Aaron Forde, chief executive of Connacht Gold, economist Jim Power, from Friends First, new IFA president John Bryan and ICMSA president Jackie Cahill.

Macra warns of quota 'throwback'

Young farmers and new entrants to milk production cannot be singled out to carry costs of dairy sector expansion, Macra na Feirme has warned.

Macra president Michael Gowing described ICOS proposals that young farmers would foot the bill for expansion as "a throwback to the quota era".

"Just when we have achieved progress on easing the barriers and costs of entry to dairying, any proposal that would have an establishment cost targeted at new entrants would be a serious retrograde step -- it's milk quota costs by another name and it impacts directly on young farmers," Mr Gowing said.

Waterfowl hunt closure extended

The Department of the Environment has extended the temporary closure of the hunting season for waterfowl to tomorrow due to continuing adverse weather conditions.

Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe, director of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the environment department, said while the weather had improved, many wetlands are still frozen and the extension of the closure was considered absolutely necessary.

It does not affect shooting for pheasant, red-legged partridge or pigeons.

Spouse pensions set to be revoked

Farmers' spouses who were in receipt of a contributory State pension are now set to have their pensions revoked.

The Department of Social and Family Affairs has told spouses over 66 years old who had applied for retrospective partnership status that the pension is to be disallowed.

IFA's social affairs chairman, Margaret Healy, accused the Government of abandoned its agreement with the body.

A meeting with Minister Mary Hanafin is now the IFA's target to ensure the 2008 deal is fully implemented.

Irish Independent