A million trees, five good reasons and one giant leap

‘One million trees in one day’ is a movement aimed at planting native trees in a 24-hour period and will engage landowners, schools and volunteers in a venture/adventure to raise awareness of trees and forests. An actual date between Nov 12 and March 13 will be chosen for the planting depending on weather. Imogen Rabone told me that much of the information on how to get involved and how the project is to work is available on their website, www.onemilliontreesinoneday.com. They are calling for landowners with small landbanks along rivers or corners of fields to make contact and get involved together with communities, schools and colleges to take on this ambitious project.

‘One million trees in one day’ is a movement aimed at planting native trees in a 24-hour period and will engage landowners, schools and volunteers in a venture/adventure to raise awareness of trees and forests. An actual date between Nov 12 and March 13 will be chosen for the planting depending on weather. Imogen Rabone told me that much of the information on how to get involved and how the project is to work is available on their website, www.onemilliontreesinoneday.com. They are calling for landowners with small landbanks along rivers or corners of fields to make contact and get involved together with communities, schools and colleges to take on this ambitious project.

There are five reasons farmers need better milk prices Kevin Kiersey, Chairman of the IFA National Dairy Committee told me. He’s been explaining to co-ops why they need to support the farmer through this difficult year and it appears that already one of the co-ops has increased their price to farmers and he is hoping others will follow. Kevin says reason No.1 is that farmers are under pressure with the raising of feed prices.

Reason No. 2 – farmers are suffering hardship arising from the bad summer weather including already eating into their winter feed stores. Milk prices will have to balance this. Reason No.3- As milk supply is down globally its price is rising and this should be shared with the farmer. Reason No. 4- The weak euro against the dollar should help the farm prices by encouraging exports. Reason No.5- Giving farmers confidence and money to plan for the massive proposed increases in 2015 when quotas are abolished.

‘One Small Cut for Government -One Giant Leap for Business’ is what Gabriel Gilmartin of the ICSA is calling for. Gabriel told me that if the goverment cut carbon tax on fuel it would be a €32m boost to the farming economy this year. The already spiralling fuel costs together with the losses incurred by farmers as a result of the weather and the increased transportation needs due to the fodder shortage will hit farmers hard he says. By using the timely reference to the late Neill Armstrong’s famous saying, Gabriel is hoping to attract attention to this plight and put pressure on the Government to suspend the tax as an emergency measure.

Needless to say the bad weather has had a devastating effect on the grain harvest. Eddie Downey of the IFA told me that farmers are looking at their whole crop investment still left in the field for the last 3-4 weeks. Some small parts of the harvest have been cut but farmers are hoping for a small window of good weather of 2-3 weeks to get out and harvest grain and straw. Even then the yield and quality of the harvest will be exceedingly poor this year. Farmers are hoping for a mild winter and spring so that cattle can be kept in the fields longer relieving the need for harvested stock. On the other side of the pond in the US the opposite problem is the case with harvesting...drought has taken its toll. This, combined with the Irish problem and poor harvests in Europe too, will cause feed costs to escalate.

At time of writing Lough Rynn are heading into their 18th year of the Harvest and Vintage festival. Rose Farrell explained all about how the festival is heading back to its home of Lough Rynn Castle Hotel and how the festival has grown over the years to become a colourful and exciting event with plenty to do, see, listen to, smell, taste.

The biggest problem looming over farming is that of a fodder shortage. Bad weather leading to poor quantity and quality of crops, cattle having to eat into winter feed; already Farmers can buy silage, hay or straw. However, there is very limited or hardly any hay this year, straw is expensive and poor feed value, and silage is not good quality generally. farmers are calling round bales lucky bags as its impossible to know what the quality is like inside. Cattle need 40% of their usual feed produce at least and it is possible to make up the rest of their feed with other bought foods and meal options.

This however will be a more costly option for foods. There are feed clinics in local Teagasc offices on Thursday 6th Sept where farmers can call in and there will be someone there to advise what they should do.

All for now ….Noel

Agriview radio programme is broadcast on Shannonside/NorthernSound each Thursday 8-9pm Noel is an Independent Radio Producer and practising Architect and can be contacted at 087-6560363 noelgerardmurphy@eircom.net and www.ngmstudios.com