Friday 19 January 2018

Information meeting on forest certification

Munster farmer

Private forest owners are invited to attend a meeting being held in Macroom this evening (Thursday) at which wood certification requirements will be explained and discussed.

Forest certification programmes typically require that forest management practices conform to existing environmental and biodiversity laws. The two largest international forest certification programmes are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Chain of Custody certification tracks the certified material through the production process - from the forest to the consumer, including all stages of processing and distribution. It provides evidence that certified material in a certified product originates from certified forests.

The United Nations Market Review reported that companies that produced or traded in certified forest products often had a market advantage during the recent financial crisis because, in a buyers market, buyers could be more selective in choosing their sources of supply.

The largest supplier of wood to the processing sector in Ireland, Coillte, is Chain of Custody certified. However, this is due to change in the near future with timber from the private sector exceeding Coillte's output.

At present there is a limit to the volume of uncertified material saw and panel mills can absorb - a maximum of 30% for sawmills and 20% for panel mills. After the damage of Storm Darwin the supply of timber from private sources exceeded these figures resulting in instances of private sales being turned away, or at least postponed.

Ireland's forest industry is export driven and with overseas markets demanding certified timber it is critical that access to these markets is maintained.

These problems have been recognised by the Forest Service who have initiated a pilot programme to implement certification with two of the country's leading private owner forestry groups, North Eastern Forestry Group and Forest Owner Co-operative Society (F.O.C.S.)

Minister of State Andrew Doyle recently welcomed the signing of the contract for the establishment of two certification groups, one in the north and one in the south as an important milestone for Ireland's growing forest industry as it represents a gateway to certification for private forest owners.

Forest Owners Co-op is holding an information meeting at the Riverside Park Hotel, Macroom at 8pm on Thursday, May 11, to brief private owners on 'chain of custody' requirements, how they will affect them and the most effective way of addressing the issue. Speakers will include Karl Coggins (Assistant Principal, Forest Service) John Casey (Forest Advisor, Teagasc) Conor McSweeney (GP Wood) Eugene Curran (Forest Service, West Cork) and Michael Greaney (Participant, Certification Pilot Project). All private forest owners are welcome.

Warning of dire effects on lambs of nematode worms

Nematodirus worms are the first parasites that will affect young lambs. Lambs 5 - 10 weeks of age will be affected generally in April/May.

The worm infection is carried over on grassland from the previous year and is triggered by cold weather followed by warm spell.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine have recently issued a warning in relation to the risk of infection in lambs based on the advice received from the national Nematodirus Advisory Group.

Symptoms of nematodirus include diarrhoea, wasting, dehydration and in severe cases mortality. It can be associated with lambs congregating around drinkers while ewes continue to graze.

Flocks where lambs are already grazing pastures grazed by last year's lambs are at most risk of infection. In general these will be flocks where lambs are five to six weeks of age and older. However twin or triplet lambs are likely to be grazing from a younger age as may flocks with high stocking rates.

White drenches (benzimidazoles) are the recommended treatment. While there is resistance to white worm doses by roundworms in the later grazing season there is no resistance to nematodirus.

White doses have the advantage of being among the cheaper worm doses. There are no drenches available with residual activity against nematodirus. Because of this lambs can be re-infected again and may need further treatments at two to three week intervals.

Lambs will get immunity to nematodirus once they have come in contact with it and generally it will not be of significance to performance from mid-summer. At this point strongyle worms will be the more infective parasites and may need to be treated.

It is important to note that coccidiosis in lambs can be confused with nematodirus as the symptoms are very similar. Lambs with coccidiosis will also exhibit acute diarrhoea but this may be accompanied with a black/ bloody scour.

Coccidiosis can be suspected if scouring is still occurring after dosing for nematodirus. Coccidiosis will require different control measures and medication to nematodirus.

As with all livestock health issues consult your veterinary practitioner if in any doubt. He/she can provide a diagnosis and advise on appropriate medication if lambs with diarrhoea are observed.

This is especially the case where there has been little or no response to an initial nematodirus treatment.

Both nematodirus and coccidiosis infections can occur at the same time in the same lambs, so treatment may need to be targeted at both pathogens.


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