Why all the fuss about the Ploughing?

ploughing crowd blog

In my Fiancée’s Grandmother’s house there is a picture of her grandfather and his horses competing, and winning in the ploughing back in the forties. It takes pride of place in the living room; it’s an elite club that have held that title after all. Seventy years on and it’s time for another group to fight it out for this and the various other ploughing titles up for grabs. Since it’s humble beginnings back in the thirties the ploughing Championship has become the best festival in the country; hell, it’s the biggest outdoor event of its kind in the EU so we’ll claim Europe too. So why is it the place to be every September? Continue reading “Why all the fuss about the Ploughing?”

Protect your property from Rural Crime

Rural crime blog

Rural crime remains a major issue around the country. Despite 2017 statistics suggesting  that crime in Ireland only rose 3% on the 2016 levels, there are some who question the validity of these claims as they are based on crimes reported. Some suggest that up to 43% if not more of rural crime go unreported. This makes sense when you consider that numerous rural Garda stations have closed leaving many communities without a local Garda they know and trust. Couple that with the statistics from a 2018 survey suggesting that only 62% of people believe that the Garda have power to do anything about crimes reported to them (this same report has reporting of crimes as high as 84%). Continue reading “Protect your property from Rural Crime”

Pre Tupping Time

Pre tupping blog

It’s coming to that time of year again when sheep farmers are thinking about the mating season for their flocks. Most people are looking to the future lambing period and thinking about getting the timing right so they’re lambing at a time that suits. They’re considering how long or short a lambing period they are aiming for, what market they want to have lambs ready for and whether they are going to lamb indoors or out. While all these are important things to think about, there is an air of “counting your chickens before they hatch” about it. I used to be one of these sheep farmers, thinking solely about letting the ram out based on when I could be confident of having grass for the lambs when born. I knew that the ewes had to be in good order at tupping but as long as they had grass in front of them from three weeks out for flushing, I was happy enough to throw the ram in and let nature take care of the rest. However this attitude eventually caught up with me. Continue reading “Pre Tupping Time”

Alternatives to straw bedding

straw blog

Climate change is wreaking havoc on our farming communities the past few years, particularly this year with a wet winter and spring followed by this drought, leaving fodder reserves at crisis point. This has now spread to bedding with problems looming for the coming winter. A video circulating on social media showing farmers queuing up to take pre-purchased bales straight from the back of a baler says it all!  Yet despite the challenges we will have to provide animals and calves in particular with a ‘dry lie’ next winter. With straw at a premium it is worthwhile looking at viable alternatives to use, especially peat, slats for calves and rubber mats in calving pens. Continue reading “Alternatives to straw bedding”

10 Survival Tips for Show Spectators

survival blog

Last time we offered advice for those showing animals at shows this year, so now we’ve put together a few tips for those thinking of heading to some shows as spectators, be they small local ones or larger national shows. Livestock shows bring a lot of life to communities over the summer and it’s always a good day out no matter what age you are. However you can easily get overwhelmed by the event and you can end up leaving regretting some decisions if you aren’t careful. So here are the Agridirect teams tips to make sure you make the most of the day. Continue reading “10 Survival Tips for Show Spectators”

10 Tips for Getting Ready to Show your Livestock

show blog

Yes it is show season again so we’ve put together a few tips for those wishing to show some livestock this year. Livestock shows bring a lot of life to communities over the summer and it’s down to those who take the time to bring their animals out.  So whether you are new to the showing and need some advice starting out or a seasoned pro needing a few reminders for the coming season, hopefully these tips will help you on your way. Continue reading “10 Tips for Getting Ready to Show your Livestock”

Blowfly Strike – Be prepared

blowfly blog

It’s that time of year again where sheep farmers around the country are facing into battle with the dreaded blowfly. Blowflies are the most widespread external parasite affecting sheep in the UK and Ireland. If not properly controlled, sheep farmers can be left facing serious welfare and productivity issues, including loss of condition, reduced wool clip and leather quality, disease transmission and death. Continue reading “Blowfly Strike – Be prepared”

Is it time to bring back the horse?

horse blog

Although many of us rural dwellers don’t like it, the new Shane Ross drink driving bill has been brought about with the aim of saving lives. As a result it is very difficult to argue against without looking reckless, as the Healy Rae brothers discovered. The facts as stated by Minister Ross show that 38% of road accidents are as a result of drunk driving. Continue reading “Is it time to bring back the horse?”

Growing Resistance: Are you using the right wormer?

cydectin blog

Concerns are growing nationally and internationally regarding the increased cases of resistance to some of the most commonly used wormers. As serious issues on farms go it is right up there alongside the increase of antibiotic resistant bacteria that is making headlines worldwide.  Since 1981 Ivermectin has been the go to wormer for most Irish farms, with many using it not only as a wormer but also to treat everything down to mild cases of lice. Unfortunately this has resulted in over use and ultimately to evidence showing high numbers of resistant farms around the country. Continue reading “Growing Resistance: Are you using the right wormer?”

Nematodirus in Lambs: Prevention is better than Cure!!

Nematodirus blog

The annual menace of Nematodirus battus is still a serious problem on many farms in Ireland, with the changeable weather this year causing particular concern. The Nematodrus can cause acute, severe diarrhoea leading to sudden dehydration and lamb deaths on many farms. As the onset of disease can be very sudden, farmers have to be vigilant and respond rapidly with appropriate anthelmintics. You can’t afford to “wait and see how things pan out” when it comes to this thread-necked roundworm. Continue reading “Nematodirus in Lambs: Prevention is better than Cure!!”