National Reserve 2017 - XLVets Ireland

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Feb 25, 2017 - GLAS payments update and acceptance letters. Farm Finance. Peter. Varley. PADRAIC KILMARTIN. Do not under
IRISH FARMERS JOURNAL Saturday 25 February 2017 S

Environment Peter Varley

GLAS payments update and acceptance letters GLAS payments update Last week, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed told the Irish Farmers Journal that there is no definite end date in sight for those farmers who are owed almost €30m in the first 85% tranche of GLAS money. This week, a spokesperson from the Department said there will be a further 950 applicants receiving payment imminently, leaving 6,300 the number of farmers still awaiting payments. GLAS III GLAS III acceptance letters were issued to 12,500 farmers this week. The letters inform farmers that if they wish to withdraw from the scheme, they must do so in writing by 28 February 2017; otherwise, it is taken that the offer is accepted. The commencement date for entry into the scheme is 1 January 2017 and ends 31 December 2021. The Department says accepted farmers will shortly receive an information pack containing an application summary, maps of the actions selected, a copy of the scheme specification and a copy of the scheme terms and conditions. Deadlines Farmers entering in the third tranche of GLAS should note the upcoming deadlines to complete actions they selected in their plans. For example, any farmer who selected the wild bird cover action must sow the crop annually by 31 May, according to the Department. Similarly, farmers who chose the protection of water courses from bovine action, or bird, or bat or bee boxes actions, must have the actions completed by 31 May 2017. Hedgecutting and coppicing deadline The deadlines for coppicing and laying of hedgerows for farmers in GLAS I is next Tuesday 28 February 2017. Farmers participating in GLAS II have more time to complete the action, with a deadline of 30 November 2017.


Farm Finance

National Reserve 2017: what you need to know DARREN CARTY The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a €5m National Reserve will be available to new and young farmers this year. Here is how it will work. What is the linear cut? The Department announced this Tuesday that the National Reserve would be funded through a “linear cut” to the Basic Payment Scheme. However, an equivalent €5m in unspent funds from the 2015 Young Farmer Scheme is being added to the BPS pot, so the Irish Farmers Journal

understands that there will be no need to cut farmers’ BPS payments. Who can apply? The National Reserve will provide entitlements for two categories of farmers by priority: Young farmers: BPS applicants under 40 years of age in 2017 who started farming in the last five years. New entrants to farming: BPS applicants who started farming since 1 January 2015 and did not farm in their own name previously. It is unlikely that any funds will remain for farmers outside these two categories.

Applicants under either category must have an off-farm income of less than €40,000 in either 2015 or 2016. They must also have completed a Level 6 agricultural education course (Green Cert or equivalent), or at least have enrolled in such a course. When can I apply? The Department will make the full terms and conditions of the National Reserve and application forms available online next month, to coincide with the start of 2017 BPS applications. Applications usually remain open for several weeks.

What are the maximum entitlements? The detailed terms and conditions will only be known in March, but if the rules of the 2015 National Reserve are to go by, the maximum area eligible for entitlements from the National Reserve is likely to be 90ha. The value of entitlements obtained from the National Reserve is set at the national average, which is €184/ha. Applicants who already hold entitlements with a lower value will get a top-up from the National Reserve to bring them up to the national average.

Fertiliser sales slow significantly The volume of fertiliser moving hands has slowed significantly in the last two weeks due to a change in weather and with it has relieved any pressure that existed on supplies. All merchants we spoke to have no issue with urea supplies, with stocks replenished. Some merchants have purchased smaller volumes as they are anticipating a switch over as the season progresses to CAN, but all forecast having sufficient supplies to meet demand. There is very little difference in prices quoted, with all similar at €350/t to €360/t. One merchant anticipates that in-

creased demand for CAN may put upward pressure on price, but it is early days to see if this will materialise, with CAN about €100/t less expensive than urea at €250/t to €260/t. However, on a cost per unit of nitrogen, urea remains much better value than CAN and is something farmers should consider when purchasing. Compound fertiliser costs remain unchanged in recent weeks, with only small volumes trading so far. Compound fertilisers with 27 or 24 units of nitrogen are averaging about €350/t, with 18:6:12 coming in at a similar level. Merchants predict that de-

mand is unlikely to change much in the coming week, with more inclement weather forecast. Diesel prices steady Recent fuel prices have steadied. However, all suppliers are stressing the continuing uncertainty in the market. For a 1,000-litre order, green diesel is ranging from 65c/l to 70c/l, depending on where you are in the country. White diesel delivered is varying from 1.18c/l to 1.25c/l. Fuel companies are saying there is generally a variation of 1c to 2c/l, depending on the quantity purchased and the method and promptness of payment.

Future outlooks suggest that there will be no immediate change in prices. However, all companies stressed the uncertainty in the market, with prices liable to change up to three times per day. Many suppliers noted a drop in sales of kerosene for the month of January due to the spell of mild weather. However, suppliers have witnessed an increase in kerosene sales for the first two weeks of February. One supplier’s view was that: “It’s like looking into a crystal ball. It is liable to go up or down at any stage.”

Sluggish demand for wool

Last week’s report on the British Wool Market Board sale included an error for the Irish wool prices reported. The market unfortunately remains under pressure with prices ranging in general from 70c/kg to 75c/kg for lowland wool, with the quality of wool also having an impact on price. Some depots handling wool have paid 5c/kg to 10c/kg higher for very good-quality wool, but this is a rarity, with very little wool presently changing hands. Farmers holding wool should be mindful of how it is being stored and ensure wool is not getting wet or damp. Demand from China has reduced, creating a void in the market with wool colour also poor and not helping demand.

Fuel Watch Price in c/l and difference on previous week Price for 1,000 litres including VAT delivered


0.3 125.7

AGRI -0.1 66.9


– 65.9


Vet’s Corner

Do not underestimate value of colostrum PADRAIC KILMARTIN Do not underestimate the value of proper colostrum feeding. Newborn calves have an underdeveloped immune system and rely completely on colostrum to provide immunity against common diseases such as scour. This immunity comes from immunoglobins in the colostrum. These are most plentiful in the first milking and the maximum absorption occurs in the newborn calf within the first two hours. Colostrum IgG concentra-

tion in milk has been shown to decrease by 3.7% per hour post-calving. An excellent guide is the 3-2-1 rule. The calf should be removed from the dam, all quarters of the cow milked and this should be the first milking (1). A minimum of 3l (3) should be given to the calf within two hours (2). Calves should get a further two litres four to six hours later. Any calf that won’t suck should be fed this volume via stomach tube, but care should be taken that this is done correctly.

Factors affecting quality In general, older cows have better-quality colostrum than younger cows and heifers. Healthy cows produce better-quality colostrum, while concurrent disease, poor nutrition and short dry period reduces quality. Any cows running milk prior to calving will have poorer-quality colostrum. Colostrum should be stored, as it may be needed in emergency situations. Only store colostrum from mature cows. Do not pool colostrum, this may lead to the spread of Johne’s disease within the herd.

Take care when thawing frozen colostrum; it should be immersed in warm water and left to thaw until it reaches body temperature. Do not microwave or thaw in boiling water, as this will damage the immunoglobulins. Passive transfer One of the main contributing factors to calf scour is failure of passive transfer. Leaving the calf sucking the dam does not ensure passive transfer occurs. When investigating calf scour outbreaks, we routine-

ly measure zinc sulfate turbidity. This test is done at less than 14 days old and this tells us if poor colostrum management is a major factor contributing to calf illness and death. Padraic Kilmartin works at Glasslyn Veterinary Clinics, Glasslyn Rd, Bandon, Co Cork. Glasslyn Veterinary Clinics is part of XLVets, a group of practices working together to achieve a better future for agriculture and veterinary in Ireland. For information, see