Video: Meet the owner of Ireland’s largest herd of pedigree Jersey cows

Tonight’s episode of Ear to the Ground will meet the owner of Ireland’s largest herd of pedigree Jersey cows.

This week’s episode will also focus on bird flu and examining the benefits of the GLAS scheme.

Ella McSweeney travelled to Woodtown Jersey Farm in Co. Meath to see how Ben Tyrrell is managing his Jersey herd.

Over the course of the next few weeks Tyrrell is expecting to see over 200 new born calves arrive onto his farm as part of his springtime calving.

Farming here since 1917, the Tyrrell family own the oldest and largest herd of pedigree Jersey cows in the country.

Ella visited this 100 year old farm and met with Ben Tyrrell, who has big plans for the herd, having taken over the running of this 300ac farm from his father Richard in 2009.

Meanwhile, Ear to Ground joins Darragh McCullough on his farm to hear about the latest Agri Environmental scheme GLAS.

Under the scheme, Darragh will be paid to sow wild bird cover on his tillage farm in Co. Meath.

But to sow the bird cover, he will have to bulldoze some scrubland, which is a perfectly good habitat as it is.

Ecologist Daire O hUallachain says the scheme needs to be monitored carefully to ensure the benefits like wildlife habitats, species diversity and water quality are maintained and improved.

Darragh will investigate if the GLAS scheme is really going to improve the environment.

Also on tonight’s episode, Helen Carroll will examine the impact outbreaks of bird flu have had on poultry producers.

Avian flu has been brought to our shores by migrating birds and is threatening the whole poultry sector.

Helen spoke with Margaret Farrelly, a free range egg producer based on the border of counties Cavan and Meath, who’s hens and business depend on access to the outdoors.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has taken serious action to combat the disease, as all birds are kept indoors.

Senior Veterinary Inspector Dr. Sally Gaynor outlines the bio-security measures that the Department hope will keep the virus out.

Helen also travelled out to Bull Island in Dublin Bay with Olivia Crowe from Birdwatch Ireland to count the migrating wildfowl and watch for signs of the latest bird flu virus H5N8.

Ear to the Ground will be aired on RTE 1 at 8.30pm tonight and will also be repeated on Sunday.

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