Boyle to discuss agri challenges of 2019 in Nenagh next week

Director of Teagasc Gerry Boyle will be guest speaker, discussing a variety of topics including the challenges facing farmers in 2019, at the upcoming North Tipperary IFA AGM next week.

North Tipperary branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) will hold elections on the night as well as an overview of the past year at its annual general meeting.

The Teagasc director is expected to give his views on a range of aspects of Irish agriculture, including “roadblocks” that are expected to prove a challenge in 2019 such as Brexit, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and climate change.

Other key topics are expected to be the current situation of the livestock sector and its viability going forward.

Set to take place next Tuesday evening (January 8) at 8:00pm, the meeting will be held in the Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, according to North Tipperary IFA chairwoman Imelda Walsh.

“The livestock sector is fighting for survival; there’s no point saying otherwise – and continues to do so,” Walsh said, speaking ahead of the event.

Continuing, the chairwoman added: “There’s a huge exodus from it – and we’ll see a further one when the BDGP ends in two years’ time. We have concern in relation to that; do we want to lose a whole sector?

Do we want to lose our suckler herd? Or do we need to get into a space where that beef is being marketed as a premium product rather than just used as manufacturing beef?

“We have to be mindful that not all land is conducive for milking cows and that’s the reality of it.”

Walsh noted that there are a lot of challenges regarding environmental sustainability, in particular in dairy, adding that questions will have to be asked and faced up to in relation to the matter.

“We’ll be touching on the whole issue of vulture funds as well; we see that there’s currently 28,000ac of land in the hands of vulture funds. It’s a very sensitive issue.

Farmers need to be dealt with in a sympathetic way.

The chairwoman added that farmers who are in difficulty should contact the IFA’s Farm Business Committee for help: “We can help farmers in that area.”

Rural crime

North Tipperary IFA held a meeting highlighting the issue of rural crime back in November with a number of key speakers including IFA deputy president Richard Kennedy and members of An Garda Siochana among others.

Also Read: Frustration: ‘The criminal has more say and sympathy than the farmer’

Held on Monday, November 5, a number of points of frustration were highlighted by the gathered farmers, with lax laws and cards being stacked in favour of criminals being chief among the complaints on the night.