Agridirect.ie outlines how fireworks displays are a source of stress to pets and livestock, and offers some advice on how to keep animals safe next week.
A great spectacle
It’s that time of year again. Next week, the countryside will scream with fireworks and we should all be prepared. True, most of us may enjoy the spectacle. There is something fundamentally appealing about watching the night sky come alive with great sprays of colour. I have a baby daughter and look forward to taking her outside to watch the neighbours’ annual display.
The Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, today announced that the Government will make a contribution of €2.3 billion to the CAP Strategic Plan for 2023-2027. This funding will bring Pillar II spending to €3.86 billion and overall spending for the period to 9.8 billion.
Agridirect.ie discusses the John Deere workers strike in the US, and asks what it might mean for farmers this side of the Atlantic.
All not well with John Deere
John Deere, one of the world’s largest agricultural machinery manufacturers, is in a state of deep crisis. On Wednesday, more than 10,000 Deere employees went on strike across 14 factories covering the US states of Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas and Georgia. The strike was organised after the United Auto Workers union rejected a contract it viewed as inadequate. However, the scale and intensity of the strike seems to have surprised even the organisers.
The right dose to use and when to use it. These are problems that trouble all sheep and cattle farmers at this time of year. Sheep, in particular, are so vulnerable to fluke that winter ewe deaths from fluke-related liver damage is commonly attested on Irish farms. It is almost impossible to prevent animals from contracting the parasite, especially if – like me – you have wet ground and have no option but to graze it. The lifecycle of this scourge of sheep farmers is very well understood and has been the subject of numerous studies. In short, fluke parasites that have been living on mud snails during the summer months migrate onto the long grass in early autumn, and from here pass into grazing livestock.
As the weather gets wetter, Agridirect.ie discusses the increased danger of fluke in sheep and offers some advice to farmers on the best treatments available on the market.
A Grim Forecast
The forecast for the foreseeable makes for grim reading. Of the seven days ahead, only one – Friday – is likely to bring as much as a ray sunshine. The rest of the week is set to be overcast, showery or downright torrential. For sheep farmers, this should be a concern. While the dip in temperature over the last couple of weeks has banished the threat of the blowfly, internal parasites remain a major problem. By now, the fluke parasite will have left the mud snail that hosts it during the summer months and migrated onto grass. Wet grassland, especially, will be full of fluke. If you can, you should keep animals off your wettest fields at this time of year, no matter how lush the grass.
Agridirect.ie discusses the threat of pneumonia in livestock during the winter months, and outlines the early symptoms to watch out for.
Winter is not far off now. Temperatures plummeted over the last couple of weeks, and some recent nights have had a distinctly wintry feel. Over the next month or so, we can expect conditions to deteriorate further, with increased rainfall and colder air sweeping across the country. On the farm, this seasonal change brings with it several new threats. One of these is the risk of pneumonia in livestock. Farmers should be particularly mindful of this danger, as it can kill quickly and leaves few outward signs for a post-mortem.
Agridirect.ie discusses bovine lameness and outlines some important measures that farmers can take to prevent and treat it.
A serious problem, and not just for dairy men
Winter is always a dangerous time for the contraction and spread of the infections that cause bovine lameness. Cramped housing conditions provide a perfect environment for digital disease to thrive, and we shouldn’t underestimate how much of a problem this can become. Nor should we think that this scourge is a problem for the dairy man only.
The Irish Farmers Association has organised 4 emergency rallies tomorrow in a bid to “save Irish farming”. According to the Association, current government policies will decimate Irish farming. The IFA believes that the Government is not entering negotiations with farming groups in good faith, and argues that the current policy trajectory will leave Irish agriculture unrecognisable within a few years.
Agridirect.ie discusses the Government’s new Animal Welfare strategy, arguing that regulation should focus on unethical factory production rather than the average smallholding.
The 5 Principles
2021 is the first year of the implementation of the Government’s Animal Welfare strategy, which will run until 2025. According to the strategy document, the regulatory approach over the coming years will focus on 5 key principles:
Agridirect.ie discusses the revival of Ireland’s native red squirrel population, and explains how it is attributable to the return of the pine marten.
Have you seen a red squirrel lately? In the last week, I have passed two on the drive to work. On both occasions, the squirrel dashed out in front of me and I had to jam on the brakes to avoid him.
Tiny and extremely fast, these beautiful creatures are not always easy to spot. At a distance you might mistake one for a rat or even a piece of material blowing across the road. They are distinguishable by a red tail as long as their minuscule bodies, by their attractive red coat with a white stripe on the chest, and by their tufty vertical ears.