Farm Ireland

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Farming in brief: Sheep slaughter falls by over 20pc

Sheep slaughterings fell by more than 20pc in January, the latest CSO figures reveal.

The number of sheep slaughtered that month stood at just 165,300, compared with 210,700 in January last year -- an overall decrease of 21.5pc.

However, cattle slaughterings were up on the same period last year.

Some 125,900hd of cattle were slaughtered in January this year, compared with 114,100hd in the same month last year, giving a 10.3pc increase.

Meanwhile, the number of pigs slaughtered in January also fell by 5.9pc from 213,600 in 2009 to 201,000 this year.

New pig code of practice launched

A new code of practice for the welfare of pigs has been launched.

The Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) booklet aims to encourage pig farmers to maintain the highest standards of animal husbandry and practice.

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The booklet provides advice on maintaining good bio-security and animal health status within the herd, and on ensuring appropriate welfare by having proper procedures in place for dealing with sick or injured animals.

Advice on herd management is also set to be addressed.

Greencore to end 600 malting deals

More than 600 malting barley growers have been informed by Greencore that their malting contracts will not be renewed this year.

It appears that geographical location has been the biggest factor in deciding which contracts are renewed. The closer growers are to the company's Athy base, the more contracts are still in place.

Growers in Wexford have been particularly hard hit. Large numbers of growers are now without a malting contract for this harvest.

Angry growers are due to meet tomorrow night at the Dolmen Hotel, Carlow at 8pm.

Part-time farmers most vulnerable

Part-time farmers have been the hardest hit by the economic downturn, being the most vulnerable to its effects.

New research shows that the numbers employed in agriculture are declining and so too are the off-farm jobs held by part-time farmers.

In the latest edition of Teagasc's TResearch magazine, it says the number of people employed in agriculture fell from 115,000 at the end of 2008 to 98,000 last year.

The sector's relative share of employment now accounts for 5pc of the total workforce.

Those working in the construction sector witnessed the greatest fall in employment over the period analysed.

Irish Independent