Farmers – Stay Safe When Spraying

Disposable-Boilersuit-SMALLIt’s important to keep safety in mind whenever you’re spraying around the farm.

The most basic step you can take is to cover up properly. This means protecting your whole body from possible contamination.

Through our sister company we have a number of products for this.

Start by wearing a disposable protective boilersuit to keep any spray off your clothes and head.

Next comes the safety goggles to keep your eyes safe.

Then a face mask. You can go with disposable FFP2/FFP3 spray masks or reusable half face and full face masks with replaceable filters.

Finally a pair of strong disposable nitrile gloves to keep the spray off your hands.

It’s a good idea to have this protective gear on before mixing the spray to avoid any splashes.

BSE: Everything YOU Need to Know

cowsAfter the recent BSE scare in Louth we figured we’d post some information on BSE just to remind everyone of the details on this disease.

Q. What is BSE?
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is a disease that affects adult cattle. BSE attacks the brain and central nervous system of the animal and eventually causes death. Commonly known as ‘Mad-Cow Disease’, BSE has a long incubation period. This means that it usually takes four to six years for cattle infected with BSE to show signs of the disease, such as disorientation, clumsiness and, occasionally, aggressive behaviour.

Q. Where does BSE come from?
BSE was first confirmed in cattle in the UK in 1986. The first case in Ireland was confirmed in 1989, when there were 15 cases confirmed. Most experts agree that BSE was most likely spread by cattle eating feed that contained contaminated Meat and Bone Meal (MBM). It was incorporated into cattle feed until it was banned in the 1990s. The practice of feeding MBM to cattle has been banned in Ireland since in 1990.

Q. What danger is BSE to people?
BSE only develops in cattle, but it belongs to a family of prion diseases, several of which can affect humans. The most commonly known disease in this group among humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). This is a rare and fatal form of dementia that normally occurs in individuals between the ages of 40 and 80. CJD is not a new disease among humans, but in 1996, scientists discovered a new strain of CJD that occurs predominantly in younger people. More recent evidence has shown that the protein that accumulates in the brains of individuals with this new form of CJD is similar to the protein found in cattle infected with BSE, rather than that found in classical CJD. Because of this discovery, the new illness in humans is known as variant CJD or vCJD. Some individuals who have developed vCJD are known to have eaten potentially BSE-infected meat products.

Q. How is BSE being controlled in Ireland ?
BSE controls in place in Ireland since 1996 are very strict and there are layers of robust measures to ensure maximum consumer protection in relation to BSE. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) bases its decisions upon the best scientific data and knowledge, and develops inspection and audit controls to ensure maximum consumer protection in relation to meat and meat products.
These are some of the risk reduction measures that are in place:
* The Cattle Movement Monitoring System (CMMS) which tracks the location of all animals in the national herd.
* Ante-mortem examination of all animals prior to slaughter at all abattoirs and verification of each animal’s status via the CMMS.
* The screening of all cattle over 30 months of age using an approved test.
* Removal of all high-risk Specified Risk Material (SRM) at the abattoir.
* Extensive checks by veterinary inspectors to ensure that the removal of SRM has been thoroughly carried out.
* On-going audit by FSAI of the effectiveness of controls at abattoirs and meat retail outlets.
* The total exclusion of all meat and bone meal products from the animal feed chain.
* The restriction of all local abattoirs to the slaughter of animals under 30 months of age since January 2001.

Q. What is Specified Risk Material (SRM)?
SRM are the parts of cattle most likely to carry BSE and these must be removed. These parts are:
* The skull, brain, eyes and spinal cord
* The tonsils and intestines of bovine animals of all ages

*Information compiled by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland


FARMERS anxiously worrying about weather for hay-making and silage can expect a dry and sunny June, according to the Kiwi weather guru, Ken Ring.

After correctly predicting extremely wet conditions across the country for May, the New Zealander expects that June weather will be 13pc drier than average overall.The hours of sunshine will be up to 41pc above average, according to Mr Ring, whose website has become a hit with Irish farmers over the past five years.

Statistics from Met Eireann have shown that the forecast he gave last October for March, April and May has proven accurate.

He predicted the good summer weather in 2014 and the heatwave in 2013 with uncanny accuracy.

The weather guru also forecast that more than twice the normal rainfall would land in the northern regions during May.

Lower rainfall

Mr Ring predicted farmers in the northern region of the country could fare best during this month with conditions drier by around 39pc, followed by the west enjoying an estimated 19pc less than average rainfall.

The east could be drier by 4pc, but the south will fare worst with rainfall predicted to be 9pc higher than average.

The weather man said that most days should have some hours of sunshine with the northern region the sunniest by up to 48pc.
He said farmers should make the most of the June weather, because July is likely to be slightly wetter than average in most regions of the country with the exception of the south, estimated to be drier by around 9pc.

An Extra 1.5 Billion Litres of Milk to be Produced Each Year in the EU till 2016

farm solutions  blogEU milk production has been forecasted to grow further in 2015 and 2016, according to European Commission estimates.

Estimated figures for the top 10 dairy producers in the EU, presented at the latest Milk Market Observatory meeting, account for circa 85% of EU milk production.

DairyCo says according to these figures, production in the EU’s top 10 nations could grow by nearly 1.5 billion litres per annum for the next two years.

For the current year, it says the majority of the increase is expected to come in the latter stages as most of these countries reduced milk production in quarter 1 of 2015 to limit the impact of superlevy.

DairyCo says the prospect of more milk could keep pressure on prices for the foreseeable future, subject to a significant upturn in buyer demand or any potential impact of weather/disease

Ireland’s Average Farmer Revealed

farmer on dairy farm2 may 2015Teagasc National Farm Survey shows that the ‘average’ farmer in Ireland is 57 years old and has 47ha (116 acres).

It also shows that the average farmer in Ireland has 70 cows, if they’re in dairying, or 27 suckler cows.

Some 23% of farmers have a household pension in place, the figures also show.

It says the average age of Irish farmers has been increasing in recent years but can be expected to decrease somewhat in the short-term as Teagasc is experiencing a huge volume of young people undertaking agricultural education.

Most importantly, according to Teagasc 51% of farm households in Ireland have off-farm employment.

The number of farm households with off-farm income peaked in 2009 at 59% and declined to 49% in 2012.

According to Teagasc, the prevalence of off-farm employment varies regionally – with the West and Midlands having 44% and 35% of farm households with off-farm employment.

The figures were revealed as part of the National Farm Survey and show that there is a wide distribution of farm incomes across the farming population.

Dairying remains the most profitable farming sector in Ireland, with average incomes of €68,8777, up 13% on 2013.

Cattle other (finishing) is the least profitable farming enterprise, the figures show, with an average income of €10,271 – up 8% on 2013.

Cattle rearing (young stock) has an average income of €13,834, which was down 12% on 2013 figures.

Sheep farmer incomes were also up, 24%, but from a significantly low base, according to Teagasc.