Livestock pneumonia: knowing the early signs is key

Agridirect.ie discusses the threat of pneumonia in livestock during the winter months, and outlines the early symptoms to watch out for.

Winter chill

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.

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Watch: Goat and Rooster Save Chicken from Hawk Attack

Youtube Screenshot

Remarkable footage (see below) emerged from a farm in the Netherlands this month. A 40 second video clip, posted on Youtube on 14 September, shows how a rooster and a goat teamed up to save a hen from an attacking hawk.

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The secret intelligence of donkeys

Agridirect.ie outlines how donkeys have been negatively characterised in most agricultural societies and explains why our prejudices are very misguided.

Stereotyping

Few farm animals receive more negative press than the humble donkey (Equus asinus). For most of the recorded history of animal husbandry, humans have depicted donkeys as ignorant, stubborn, stupid creatures. Indeed, the donkey is often evoked as a byword for undesirable human behaviour. In most cultures and languages, to call someone a donkey stirs up a range of negative associations. Where I come from, belligerent or wilful people are often accused, scathingly, of being “as thick as an ass”. In historical accounts dating as far back as Ancient Greece, donkeys were compared unfavourably to horses, due to their smaller stature, cropped mane, stubbornness, and suitability for hard labour rather than leisure activities such as racing.

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The Agridirect Guide to Buying a Used Tractor

Agridirect.ie talks about the potential pitfalls of buying a used tractor and presents a short guide to help you get value for your money.

An important investment

A good tractor is one of the most important investments a farmer can make. The right tractor will fix you up for years to come. Now, obviously, those who can afford to buy a brand-new model don’t have many worries. New tractors, unless they come from a very disreputable brand, should run like clockwork for a few years at least.

If you are like me, however, you simply can’t afford to spend big on a brand-new model. This means that you are on the hunt for a good used tractor. This is not necessarily going to be a painful experience. There are many excellent used tractors on the market, and many reputable dealers that won’t sell you a pig-in-a-poke. However, it is also important to remember that there are plenty of highway men out there who will sell you a spray-painted heap of scrap if they can get away with it. That’s why we at Agridirect.ie have decided to put together this short and simple guide to help you with your purchase. In today’s blog entry, we will discuss what to look for in a used tractor and what features to check and double-check before making the deal.

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Why farming is the foundation stone of modern civilization

Agridirect.ie discusses the origins of farming and explains how agriculture became the cornerstone of human civilization.

How farmers built civilization

It is a well-established fact that agriculture provided the foundations on which human civilization was built. Without agriculture, few of mankind’s other achievements would have been possible. The history of farming is long, complex and not always clearly understood, but archaeologists, anthropologists and scientists have been able to piece together a clear picture of how the agricultural revolution changed the course of human history.

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Poll result: vast majority of Irish farmers oppose wormer regulations

And the results are in! Here at Agridirect.ie, we asked farmers for their opinion about the Irish Government’s plan to introduce wormer regulations next January. The regulations, which take effect on 28 January 2022, will require farmers to obtain a veterinary prescription to access fluke and worm treatments. Our poll, which went live on this site on 30 July 2021, asked farmers the following question:

Do you support the Irish Government’s plan to introduce stricter regulations on the sale of animal medicines?

Of 104 poll participants, 87.5% oppose regulation, while 8.65% were in favour. A further 3.75% were undecided. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine claims that the regulations are necessary to combat rising anthelminthic resistance on Irish farms.

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Poll: what do you think about the Government’s wormer regulation plans?

The Irish Government plans to introduce new regulations restricting the sale of animal medicines in Ireland. The regulations, which will force farmers to obtain a veterinary prescription before purchasing medicines such as drenches and pour-ons, are due to be introduced on 28 January 2022. The proposal has drawn staunch criticism from farming organisations and retailers. Here at Agridirect.ie, we want to know what farmers on the ground think about this issue. Cast your vote by clicking below, and feel free to share your comments too!

Grassland reseeding: picking the right ingredients

As a popular time of year for grassland reseeding fast approaches, Agridirect.ie looks at the huge benefits reseeding brings and explains how you should go about picking your most suitable seed mix!

Why Invest in Reseeding?

Reseeding is undertaken on Irish farms for many reasons, with performance at the very top of the list. Over time grass plants will gradually lose their performance. This is a major problem for farmers, as they aim for the best possible performance from their land and livestock. When reseeding takes place a much larger amount of grass is grown which means the amount of fertilizer you need to spread is reduced, the stocking rate of animals can be increased, and the land should at the end of the day make more profit. Reseeding can also help control weeds which may have caused problems over the years – another huge benefit.

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Tractor lighting: stay safe by getting it right

Agridirect.ie discusses the importance of maintaining adequate lighting on tractors, especially during the busy summer season.

A loaded weapon

As mentioned in this blog a couple of weeks ago, we are all spending more time on our tractors during these long summer days. There is hay and silage to make, animals to move, turf to be brought home. There is a mountain of work that can’t be done without machinery. That is why it is so important that we go the extra mile in observing all necessary safety precautions. Every time that we climb into the cab, we should remind ourselves that tractors are responsible for 50% of farming-related fatalities. In terms of our approach, we should view tractors and other farm machinery just as we would view a loaded weapon.

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Flock fertility: now is the time to invest

With breeding season now clearly on the horizon for many farmers, Agridirect.ie discusses the use of boluses to boost flock fertility.

Flock fertility: now is the time to invest!

While sheep farmers are enjoying high prices for finished lambs this year, past experience of buoyant finished lamb prices will prompt many to think that it won’t last forever and may not even last long. Of course, better prices are only what lamb producers deserve but now thoughts are swiftly turning towards breeding next year’s crop of lambs. No one can predict what next year’s prices will bring, but one way of driving profitability on any sheep farm is a high level of productivity, in particular a high number of lambs sold per ewe.

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