How Fair Deal works: The new plan that delivers a truly fairer deal for farm families
Last week Ministers signed off on proposals to overhaul the Fair Deal scheme, which will cap the payments to be made by farm families when a...
Last week Ministers signed off on proposals to overhaul the Fair Deal scheme, which will cap the payments to be made by farm families when a...
Our solicitor Theresa Murphy answers your questions about Fair Deal.
There is an onus on the Department of Agriculture to treat customers with fairness as well as upholding the applicable regulations when...
Q One of my parents is in need of full-time care. Although we have been managing home care up to this point, it is putting too much pressure on...
A recent dispute in Galway relating to farm boundaries has played out dramatically before the courts and brought to mind the many difficulties faced throughout the country that relate to land...
Q I am a farmer in north Dublin and have growing concerns about CPO's on my land. I would like to know if there are ways to refuse CPOs, and whether there are any limits to the number of CPOs that can be placed on property. There are currently several CPOs proposed for my land and I am concerned that what I will be left with will not allow me to farm my land in a viable way at all.
Q My wife and I have been farming since we got married almost 10 years ago. We have three young children and at present we are scraping by on the small income the farm is making. We are facing the reality that it is not practical for my wife to return to work off-farm as the childcare costs would wipe out any income she would make. I keep hearing about the economy improving but we are finding the reality is very different. What can we do?
Although the culture of helping out and trading labour between farmers is dying out in many parts of the country, there are times when a helping hand from family members or neighbours carries with it a greater burden for the farmer in terms of liability and insurance than most realise.
Q The busy silage season was made much difficult for me this year as I feel aggrieved by the behaviour of a close neighbour.
Q We have a farmhouse a short distance from a public road that is used by a few families who live there.
For many farming families one of the biggest difficulties with housing has been securing planning permission on or near the family farm. However, a bigger issue has reared its head in the...
Q I see it as my duty to ensure that my farmland is clear of plastic and waste that seems to be covering more and more of the countryside and I am frustrated that some farmers seem to be...
The recent Storm Emma and the snows that came before and after are still visible in some corners of the country. They are a reminder of the weather-related difficulties that farmers have faced and...
Can you afford to be a man down? Spring has almost arrived and so too has the increased workload that comes with it.
I am a landowner close to traditional hunting grounds and in recent years I have had difficulty with hunters and shooters entering onto my...
Q I am a young trained farmer and my father, having reached retirement age, has decided to transfer the family suckler farm to me.
A spate of dog attacks on sheep in recent months has put the issue back in the spotlight as the lambing season approaches.
Q I have been following recent media reports about farm evictions. What is the process for a court judgment against you if you get into financial difficulty? Can you potentially be physically removed from your property? What is the role of the county sheriff and the Garda Síochána? What are the laws on the methods finance companies and their personnel employ in enforcing an eviction?
Development and modernisation is key to business success and a farm is no different.
Question: I have been troubled by hunters coming onto my out-farm for some time and I have just had enough. I have sheep on the land and I have always blamed the shooters and their dogs for difficulties with ewes losing lambs. /b>
Q: I have leased 24ha of grazing land for almost 40 years and I have farmed it as my own. The land is classed as disadvantaged - 16ha is mountain and the rest is low land.
Q I am a farmer living in quite a remote area and have learned that one of my neighbours has been approached by a windfarm company with a view to building turbines on his land.
Our resident solicitor tackles this sensitive issue
Q I have been following the case which was taken against the ESB about entering private lands. As a landowner and farmer I am concerned about what state bodies may have access to my land without my consent or knowledge. It is not that I want to stand in the way of progress, I would just like to know who can enter my land without warning me.
I am a young trained farmer, having taken over the reins of the family farm four years ago from my parents.
Q I am expanding my herd from 55 cows to over 100 in the next few months.
Q. My question is a little sad in that it involves difficulties within my family which we cannot resolve.
While the majority of fatal farm accidents in the last number of weeks were caused by machinery, deaths caused by animals also feature. This is a reminder to farmers not only of the dangers but also the liabilities that are associated with stock.
Q I live alone on my farm in the west of Ireland and as I get older I am becoming more nervous about the risk of intruders.
Following the recent death of my uncle I learned that I was to inherit a piece of land which he purchased in the early 1960s from a neighbour who has also since died.
The winter months and the Christmas period often brings the issues relating to dog walkers, shooting and hunting to the forefront of landowners' minds.
Q. I am a farmer's son and am now in my fifties. Having farmed our 150 acre farm for over 20 years alongside my brother (since my father retired) I was expecting that I would inherit at least half of the farm when the time came for my father to pass it on in his will.
Q. I have noticed that since the death of a local elderly farmer, a neighbour has been using his land as if it were his own and recently put up a fence around it. I know the neighbour has not inherited the land but I don't know who has as the elderly man had no children or family that I know of. Will the farmer using the land be able to claim squatter's rights?
The recent blueprint on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy has been flagged as aiming to simplify the food subsidy system and remove more bureaucracy.
Over 90pc of farmers in the north-west are facing serious fodder shortages this winter, with stock owners generally having 35pc less feed than they will need for their herds.
Q I am a farmer in the North West of Ireland and as much of my land is located away from my house and in upland areas (some of it is very wet ground), I have found that a quad has made life much easier. I have become concerned after reading about a recent High Court case in Ireland which involved a young man who fractured his skull when he was hit by a quad bike while visiting a farm.
Q I am writing to you on behalf of an elderly friend of mine regarding rights of way. There are three different right of ways going through an adjoining sports facility, one of which travels on through another farmer's yard. The right of ways are marked on the maps. As my friend is getting older he is anxious to register these rights of way as soon as possible in case anything might happen to him and his sons/heirs might have difficulty establishing the rights of way. We would appreciate some advice as how to proceed.
Q Last week's storm uprooted some trees on the border between my land and my neighbour. Although still standing I am concerned that it will fall and bring down the power lines along side and if that happened I would likely lose power to the milking parlour and other facilities. I have told my neighbour that he needs to have the tree removed and made safe, but I don't think he has done...
Q I have recently got engaged and my fiancé and I are considering signing a pre-nuptial agreement. My parents have transferred the family farm to me and I have made a will regarding my property but I am concerned about the consequences of signing and pre-nuptial agreement and what effect it might have. Would my will be affected by signing the pre-nuptial agreement and can I still choose who to leave the farm to in my will?
Q My husband passed away after a period of illness and as he was the farmer and dealt with all aspects of the farm business I am struggling to deal with everything from banking and money to the day to day operation of the farm. He died without a will and for now one of my sons is doing the day to day work on the farm even though he works off farm. Can you advise on what I should do to start putting things in order.
Q My wife and I have been farming since we got married almost 10 years ago. We have three young children and at present we are scraping by on the small income the farm is making. We are facing the reality that it is not practical for my wife to return to work off-farm as the childcare costs would wipe out any income she would make. I keep hearing about the economy improving but we are finding the reality is very different, waiting for the Basic Payment Scheme cheque to meet our debts and bills. What can we do?
Farm accidents are at an all-time high and the issue of adequate farm insurance ought to be a concern for all land owners and farmers.
Q I am a landowner and have an issue with mature deciduous trees which are located approximately six feet inside a ditch which adjoins a road. The trees are of great value to me as they are located on the boundary of my lands. I would be sorry to have to cut them back, but I am concerned about my liability if any part of the trees were to fall over the ditch onto the roadway or even into an...
The rules in relation to compensation for land which is taken by compulsory purchase order (CPO) are complex and conflicting.
Q I have read with some concern about the possibility of compulsory purchase orders being used to acquire land for use in greenways. Although my farm land does not lie in the path of any current proposed greenway I fear CPOs will be a big issue for farmers over the next few years and I don't want to sell any of my farm.
Many farmers are aware of the labour sharing and financial benefits from farm partnership agreements.
INSPECTORS in the Department of Agriculture were warned three years ago that they could face a raft of legal challenges over flawed inspection procedures.
Attachment to land and property runs deep in Ireland. Taken to extremes, this fixation on property and inheritance can cause untold misery and misfortune as exemplified by the fate of Bull McCabe and his family in The Field.
It is clear that farmers of both sexes and all ages are now in favour of pre-nuptial agreements being recognised.
Q. I am one of a number of farmers sharing grazing rights on a commonage in the east of the country. Being in a scenic area with easy access to the public this commonage is increasingly being used for recreational and hunting purposes by neighbouring residents and other persons unknown for such uses as hill walking, mountain biking, dog walking, scrambling and hunting with some of these activities happening during hours of darkness. What are the responsibilities of the commonage shareholders to these recreational users?
The recent case of a man who settled a High Court action over injuries he suffered when he took a lift in a car which crashed into a heifer on a Tipperary road have brought the question of liability for animals to the fore.
The average age of a farmer in Ireland is currently 60 which means that a substantial number are over 65 and leading healthy and active lives, enjoying an income from their farms while also being in receipt of a state pension.
Q In the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk about the need to have an NCT or road worthiness test for tractors. I am a part time farmer with a fairly small holding and I do most of the machinery work in an older tractor to avoid the costs of buying a new and expensive tractor. I just cannot justify buying an expensive/newer tractor from the farm income and I am afraid that I will have to upgrade.
Q: I am a farmer in the West of Ireland and depend on the land completely to make a living. I have heard some talk of a local bypass and I am worried that my land might be taken by a Compulsory Purchase Order. I don't want to sell my land and I am very concerned about this. What do I need to know about Compulsory Purchase Orders, and can I stop the local authority from taking my land...
Q I am a farmer in Mayo with most of my land located in hill and upland areas. After the recent case in the High Court - where the judge overturned the award of compensation to a hillwalker - I am now confused as to what my duty is to hillwalkers and trespassers. Do I no longer owe a duty of care as a result of the court case?
Farmers are reminded that there are new regulations in place that all farmers should be aware of which centre around the type of licence you require in order to pull a trailer.
Q Lambing season has just started on our farm and already we are having big problems with foxes attacking the lambs. There has always been a risk of fox attacks over the years but this season is worse than usual in our area. Also, for the last week or so, I have been observing a neighbour's dog that is regularly around the gate of the field with young lambs. What can I do, if anything, about a dog attacking my sheep?
A National Reserve Scheme for 2017 with a fund of €5m will be launched today by the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
Q I have been following the recent articles on farm partnerships but I have been advised in the past that entering a limited company would be a good option for me. What are the main differences between a partnership and a limited company? Are there any pitfalls to be aware of with these business structures?
Q I have just finished my course in agricultural college and I feel that I am ready to take over our family farm, which my parents have run since my father inherited it. My father still does some farming and is not ready to retire. I would like to work in partnership with him, if possible, but I think that we need clear boundaries to make it work.
Q I have just finished my course in agricultural college and I feel that I am ready to take over our family farm which my parents have run since my father inherited it. My father still does some farming and is not ready to retire. I would like to work in partnership, if possible, but I think that we need clear boundaries to make it work.
Q - I am a young trained farmer who completed a level 6 course a few years ago. I would like to start farming but I will not be able to take over the home farm yet as my father is still actively farming and is planning on continuing farming for the next few years. The only option open to me right now is to lease a farm and start farming in my own right. As the margins in the suckler to beef enterprise are very low, I am wondering what supports are available under the Basic Payment Scheme and other schemes for young trained farmers?
It's always good to have peace of mind when driving out onto a public road with your tractor and trailer so keeping up to speed with the regulations is important.
Our legal expert outlines the benefits and drawbacks to putting your farm into a limited company structure.
Advice from our legal expert on what comeback there is, if any, when buying farm machinery.
Q I am a farmer in my early thirties and have always used my car and farm jeep to pull trailers. I read recently that there are new laws which affect the pulling of trailers without a special licence. I have been driving for more than 10 years, what should I do?
Our legal expert on the insurance implications of flooding and the steps to take if you are a victim of flooding.
Q: I have been driving a jeep for many years both for my personal use and also for towing a cattle trailer to and from the mart, and also around the farm. I have heard recently of farmers being stopped by gardaí while towing trailers as they did not hold the correct licence. I am worried that I will potentially have to face into another driving test and whether or not my insurance will cover me in the case of an accident if I do not have the correct licence.
Q I have patiently waited for my BPS payment and my ANC since the end of September. Despite ringing my local department office, who can't tell me why my payments are delayed, I am none the wiser as to why or what I can do about my situation. Although I work off-farm, financially my wife and I depend on these payments. What can we do?
The buying and selling of farm animals through marts has undergone some change over the years and it is well worth knowing the legal implications attached to the sale of animals under specific descriptions such as 'breeding heifers', 'in calf heifers', 'breeding bulls'..
We look at legal questions and issues for farmers - including who is liable if an accident happens when moving cattle on a road
Q I am a young trained farmer and have always wanted to set up my own dairy farm. I am planning to take over our family farm but in order to make it a viable business I will need to milk more cows than the farm can currently house. I can't borrow any more money for building a shed but I am interested in the possibility of having replacements reared off farm to allow me increase my numbers quicker and milk more cows. What are the issues I need to consider in relation to the contract rearing?
Q: My wife and I are in our 80s and grateful to have a large and close family. We have recently decided to make our wills and have come up against the issue of how to leave the farm to the next generation. Our grandson uses the land and sheds for his stock. However, we have a number of grandchildren and are conscious that everyone should get a share. We do not want to leave him with no land or see the farm immediately sold. Also, if we leave the land to one grandchild how can we be sure the farm will not be sold if his relationship splits up?
AGRICULTURE Minister Michael Creed has requested legal advice after a recent High Court case ruled the Department's inspection procedures were "flawed".
The Department of Agriculture is facing the first wave of potentially thousands of appeals against inspection decisions and penalties relating to EU farm payment entitlements.
Sheep farmers are up in arms as their efforts to fence their land is blocked by environmentalists vowing to 'keep Ireland open'.
I am a beef farmer close to retiring age and I am finding the extra demands of the silage season difficult to manage. I need to employ some extra farm labour to help me as I have always done the silage cutting myself and do not wish to get in a contractor. What do I need to know from a legal prospective about employing a labourer and what are the tax implications as I have never done this before?
In recent days we've seen the fire brigade units and water tankers sent in to battle a serious gorse fire blazing on Three Rock Mountain in the Dublin Mountains, while smoke from fires on Mount Leinster could be seen for miles around.
Q I am a farmer in my late sixties and have three children. We have a reasonably large farm and my wife and I are planning on making wills in case either one of us dies suddenly or becomes seriously ill. As we had a high stocking rate in the relevant years we have high value entitlements. How can we leave the land and entitlements in a way that looks after all of our children without complicating the management of the farm after we are gone?
The IFA estimate that upwards of 3,000 livestock are lost each year to dog attacks. It's an estimate based on the average annual incidence of dog-on-sheep attacks of 300 - 400 as an average of ten sheep are killed in each attack.
Heated contributions on the issue surrounding 'forgotten farmers' led to a walk-out during a packed IFA hustings in Roscommon last week.
Q. I am a young trained farmer, leasing a farm for the first time. I hope to take advantage of the funding available under TAMS. However, I have heard that I will need to have planning permission in place before I can even make my application. Is this the case and if so, what regulations apply to planning permission applications? I would like to build a new cubicle shed and also upgrade the slurry storage facilities on the farm. I am not in a farm partnership, but I have heard that they can access bigger grants, is that the case? Finally, what costs are involved in the process?
Advice from our legal expert on entering into a farm lease agreement.
Our legal expert on dealing with the threat of break-ins and your responsibility as a land-owner for hill walkers.
Our legal expert advises on what to do when you have a grievance with how an inspector acts on your farm.
Our legal expert on the value of a pre-nuptial agreement in relation to future claims against a farm.
Advice from our barrister on consumer rights and farming.
Financial advice from our expert on the implications of the Fair Deal Scheme when caring for an elderly relative.
Most people take out insurance on their farms to protect against claims for personal injuries. Even minor injuries can result in claims of several thousand euro along with legal and medical costs also running into thousands.
Planning the distribution of your assets after your death can be a difficult topic for all members of the family.
With farm accidents at an unfortunate high the issue of adequate farm insurance ought to be a concern for all land owners.
During his tenure as Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Yates stated that the Charter of Rights was the farmer's assurance of full information, confidentiality, prompt response to queries, and a definite payments schedule.
September has arrived and as children return to school, many families are breathing a sigh of financial relief. Childcare is a necessity for many farm families, especially those reliant on a second income and the summer holidays mean that many are forced to pay for full-time childcare.
The IFA leadership and the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, were lambasted last week when 1,700 angry hill farmers totally rejected the concept or 'collective agreements' for commonage lands.
You may be aware that 2014 is the United Nations Year of Family Farming, but there are now many different shades and shapes to the modern family.
The traditional family unit has changed significantly since the Irish Constitution was written in 1937.
Farmers often hear horror stories of trespassers suing landowners for injuries suffered on their land, even when they were completely uninvited onto the land. So what can farmers do to protect themselves from being sued in a situation like this? Barrister Theresa Murphy reports.
With CSO figures showing that a quarter of farmers are over 65 and just 6pc under 35, the transfer of family farms and assets is central to planning for the future. Whether the farm is transferred during or after a farmer's lifetime, taxation is a big issue.
The cost of producing Third Level scholars has reached unaffordable levels for many families and, with the application date for grants due to open next month for the 2014-15 academic year, it is time to consider all options.
Like all sole traders, farmers are hugely concerned with tax and keeping it to a minimum. So the prospect of paying tax at the corporate rate of 12.5pc rather than the personal rate of up to 55pc on farm profit is very attractive.
With Minister Michael Noonan and the Department of Agriculture set to review taxation policy for the agriculture sector, the question of incorporation is a hot topic once again for farmers hoping to reduce their tax bills.
You'll search long and hard to find a farmer concerned over the huge number of conveyance solicitors that have lost their jobs over the last five or six years.