This week’s FarmLand: Covid-19 impact on marts, and tube feeding newborn lambs

The 2020 season of FarmLand continues today, with ongoing coverage of how the Covid-19 outbreak is impacting the agriculture sector.

This week we look specifically at the impact on marts. Last week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced livestock marts would be included among a range of establishments to be closed as part of tighter Covid-19 Government restrictions.

However, this week, Michael Creed, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, issued guidance that would allow marts to conduct “a very limited range of essential services”.

To discuss this, we spoke to Eimear Mc Guinness, chairperson of Mart Managers of Ireland (MMI) and Donegal Livestock Mart manager.

Mc Guinness described how marts are faring under the restrictions, and what services they are able – or unable – to provide.

She also gave an insight into the talks between MMI and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that resulted in the department’s decision to allow certain mart services to go ahead.

Finally, Mc Guinness spoke about the possibility of some marts not being able to reopen in the future in light of the Covid-19 restrictions.

‘How-to’ video

In our ‘How-to’ video this week, Michael Geary travelled to the farm of Michael Farrell in Co. Roscommon to speak with vet Maureen Devaney of All Creatures Veterinary Clinic about the benefits of Colostrum and to find out how to tube newborn lambs.

This video was recorded several weeks ago, before the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Stay tuned to FarmLand every week as we aim to bring you all the latest farming news and know-how from across the country and across the sectors.