Why rural Ireland misses in-person marts

Livestock Mart 001Agridirect discusses how in-person marts were an important social outlet for Irish farmers, and argues for their post-pandemic return.

 

A comic strip on page 2 of last week’s Irish Farmers Journal caught my eye. In the foreground of the scene, Taoiseach Micheál Martin engages Agriculture Minister Charlie MacConalogue in conversation.

An Taoiseach: Could we reopen the marts just for the over 80s, Charlie?

Minister MacConalogue: They’re all vaccinated Taoiseach, it could work!

Off to the right, in the background, elderly farmers queue up for what looks like a late bar or nightclub. But the sign above the door reads “MART”. Another sign, at the top of the queue, sets out the entry requirements: “Over 80s only”. A tuxedoed bouncer wearing dark glasses stands in the doorway, checking IDs, ready to turn away anyone not yet an octogenarian.

Continue reading “Why rural Ireland misses in-person marts”

Our Top 5 Polytunnel Vegetables

Polytunnel 001
Following on from last week’s Top 5 Vegetables for your Lockdown Garden, Agridirect chooses the 5 best vegetables for your lockdown polytunnel or greenhouse.

So, your polytunnel is ready. Your greenhouse is good to go. At last.

You’ve slogged for days, digging, shoveling and pitching. You’ve turned sods, broken up clods, and wheeled in endless barrows of compost. You’ve just spent hours tidying up your ridges, hammering in your timbers and – if you’re the perfectionist type – making sure the ridges are straight, the beds level as a snooker table. Continue reading “Our Top 5 Polytunnel Vegetables”

A Day To Thank Our Farmers?

Smiling farmer

Agridirect offers some advice on the best ways to compliment farmers on World Compliment Day

Today is World Compliment Day. I can almost hear the cynics among you release a collective groan of exasperation. Be nice, people! Remember that kindness costs nothing. The last year has been hard for everyone, has left no life untouched. Unmoored by the pandemic maelstrom, many people are suffering from loneliness, anxiety, and depression. And as we languish in the gloom of one final lockdown, who wouldn’t appreciate a kind word to brighten up their day, their week, or maybe even their month?

Continue reading “A Day To Thank Our Farmers?”

Grass tetany worries? Here’s some advice

GrassTetanyWoes001

As the spring grass begins to grow, Agridirect reminds Irish farmers to watch out for grass tetany in lactating cows and ewes. 

A touch of spring

On the weather front, February has been a very mixed month. Last week, Ireland lay in the depths of winter. On some nights, temperatures dipped as low as minus 4. Many water systems froze up. Frost, thick ice and heavy snow offered little hope to farmers who are anxious to free up housing facilities, and get lambs and calves out on pasture. Continue reading “Grass tetany worries? Here’s some advice”

Hygiene At Lambing Time

Lamb001

As lambing season approaches, farmers will be keen to reduce losses and maximize potential stock numbers. According to Teagasc’s recent “Let’s Talk Sheep” seminar, farmers should aim to lose no more than 12 percent of this year’s lambs from birth to point of sale. If a farmer loses more than 12% of lambs in a given year, there may be underlying factors that need rectifying to reduce lamb mortality. Continue reading “Hygiene At Lambing Time”

Farm Safety- Lets talk about Responsibility

blog farm safety
Farm Deaths

There has been a huge spike in farm related deaths over the last number of weeks. Many of them children who were helping parents on the farm. While some take issue with children helping on the farm,  for many farms having children helping is essential because of self isolation or restrictions stopping some farm workers getting to work! For others, putting children to work is the only way to keep them occupied when stuck at home. I have no problem with children helping on the farm, as I personally believe it helps build character and work ethic.  However, no matter the reason, safety must always be forefront for all the family on the farm!

Stop the messing on the farm

While many of us take safety as a top priority, the recent trend of videos being uploaded from farms around the country shows clearly that it is not for everyone. If you think the outrage at these videos is unfounded, it is not. Farming is already under the spotlight for being the least safe profession in the country. When the public sees the recklessness shown in these videos, it will only increase calls for tougher inspections on farm safety. As annoying as I would find such inspections on my own farm, it is hard to argue against such a move when there is such clear evidence of wrongdoing. Continue reading “Farm Safety- Lets talk about Responsibility”

Vetinerary Corner: Protecting Your Farm From Covid 19

Covid 19 blog
Back after a Covid 19 hiatus

We have not had a chance to post in a while due to these are strange times. We have come under increased pressure due to covid 19 restrictions but here at Agridirect we are still doing our best to serve the farming community. Unfortunately, we are experiencing some delays in certain products arriving to us and some delays with our couriers getting products to customers. However, we have all hands-on deck to try and get as many orders out as quickly as possible which is why this post is a few weeks later than planned.

In this post our vet Sarah Ryan shares some tips on how to protect your farm from Covid 19. Continue reading “Vetinerary Corner: Protecting Your Farm From Covid 19”

Allsure- Do you know what Trace Elements your Sheep Need?

Allsure sheep blog 001

Approaching Trace Element deficiency in sheep

Animax’s Allsure sheep boluses are becoming the go to bolus for sheep farmers around the country.-the reason: trace element deficiency in sheep is increasingly becoming a problem. The signs associated with trace element deficiency can often subtle in onset and often present as poorly growing lambs during late summer or early autumn. There is also considerable interplay between  factors such as seasonal changes in grass growth, diet and management for complexes such as Parasitic Gastro Enteritis (PGE) and trace element deficiency. As such it is important to consider and deal with all the issues including any  parasitic problems. Continue reading “Allsure- Do you know what Trace Elements your Sheep Need?”

Christmas- Are we teaching children to focus on Presents

 children christmas present blog
Present Woes

We’ve made it to another year’s end, and yet again everyone’s focus is on presents! But it’s been a tough year for many, financially speaking, especially farmers. Christmas is the time when you will feel the financial squeeze the most, with no idea how long you will have to feed animals into the spring! Looking for the best present for family and friends is when you realise you might not be able to afford the top of the range items! At least not while keep something aside for a rainy day or month in the spring!  As a result, the feeling of fear and inadequacy can be daunting! Continue reading “Christmas- Are we teaching children to focus on Presents”

Have Irish farmers failed to learn from mistakes that lead to the famine?

famine blog11
Jacks Mountain

I still work our small family farm in Leitrim with my father, mainly at the weekends. Our farm is on the slopes of the mountain and we have rights to a section of commonage. Locally our section is known as “Jacks Mountain”. A few weeks ago we were bringing down some hoggets from the mountain, when I stumbled across some stones. On closer inspection I realised the stones were part of a ruined wall. Continue reading “Have Irish farmers failed to learn from mistakes that lead to the famine?”