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Irish Farmers Achieve 88% Recycling Rate for Balewrap & Silage Covers – IFFPG NEWS RELEASE

Irish Farmers Achieve 88% Recycling Rate for Balewrap & Silage Covers
Pictured L2R  at UCD Lyons Estate farm with some bales of silage in the background are Sorcha Byrne, Dept. of Environment, Climate and Communications; Wexford office,  Tipperary man, Liam Moloney, CEO, Irish Farm Film Producer Group (IFFPG); Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State at the Dept. of Environment, Climate and Communications; Tom Dunne, Kilworth, Co. Cork, Chairman of IFFPG; Dr. Kevin McDonnell, Professor, Crop Sc. & Biosystems Engineering, UCD & Newcastle, Co. Kildare; Limerick lady, Geraldine O’Sullivan, Senior Policy Executive, IFA Environment and Farm Forestry Committee.

Irish farmers recycled plastic from the equivalent of 18m silage bales in 2022 and in doing so achieved a remarkable 88% recycling rate. The vast majority of the plastic was collected from farmers at over 200 bring-centres, which the Irish Farm Films Producers’ Group (IFFPG) held throughout the summer at locations such as livestock marts, coops and agri-merchants. As almost half of the plastic collected was processed at domestic recycling facilities, this also represented a boost to the circular economy in Ireland.

A total of 37,000 tonnes of silage wrap and silage pit covers was recycled in 2022, which represented an 88% recycling rate. Recent record levels of recycling, with 40% more used farm films  being recycled now compared to 5 years ago, can be attributed to a growing farm  market (since the abolition of milk quota), as well as ever-increasing numbers of farmers engaging in recycling.

For Irish farmers, farm film recycling has become a mainstream activity, with their local bring-centre considered both the most convenient (average distance of 6 miles for farmers) and cost effective (€35 charge for balewrap  from 250 bales) means of managing their used farm films. These factors, as well as a desire by farmers to be environmentally responsible, have resulted in the recycling rate for farmers being consistently the highest for any plastic waste stream in the country.

Farm plastics recycling in Ireland is coordinated by IFFPG, which is the national farm plastics compliance scheme. IFFPG, which is a not-for-profit body, has recycled over 440,000 tonnes of farm plastics waste since its establishment in 1998. The scheme, which is funded by both the  industry and farmers and approved by the Minister for the Environment, is an excellent example of what can be achieved when all the key stakeholders come together to work for a better environment.

Minister of State, Ossian Smyth, commended the Scheme for hitting an 88% recycling rate in 2022. He said “Since its establishment nearly twenty-five years ago, IFFPG have worked with producers and the farming community across Ireland to create good farm practices around the collection and recycling of agricultural plastics.  Extended producer responsibility schemes, like IFFPG, have a key role to play in Ireland’s transition to a Circular Economy- protecting and restoring our environment through sustainable resource use.”

In 2022, IFFPG supplied almost half of all collected material to Irish facilities for processing into a range of new plastic products, thereby boosting the circular economy in Ireland. In the case of wrap and pit cover waste, both ADN Materials in Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan and SIS in Littleton, Co. Tipperary recycle these wastes into pellets which are the building blocks for new products such as refuse sacks, garden furniture and piping. While in the case of fertilizer bag waste, we see an excellent example of the circular economy in operation, with IFF Plastics in west Clare recycling this waste stream into fence posts for sale back to Irish farmers.

Dairymaster Dairy Equipment-A World Market Leader

Dairymaster Dairy Equipment-A World Market Leader

Dairymaster (DM) utilised the last year or so to good effect to completely rebuild their equipment and herd management platforms, and have a new suite of software to bring to the market.

The DM equipment software platform controls the parlour, allows remote diagnostics and troubleshooting for dealer technicians, and also provides the dairy farmer user with a view of everything that is happening in the parlour and collecting yard.DairyVue360 is a complete farm management

platform, recording, analysing and displaying data for both the equipment and the cows. It combines the current milk production data with herd fertility and health and 3rd party data such as milk recording to provide a holistic 360 degree view of the farm operations. It has been developed with a complete re-architecture from the ground up to lay a platform for connecting the entire farm ecosystem into the future.

DairyVue360 takes advantage of the latest protocols to deliver real time connectivity to the milking parlour  – both on farm, remotely and via a mobile. It is designed to interface with existing Dairymaster connected equipment and developments in the future.

Dairymaster will also have the electro-pneumatic controls for the soft swing back gate and bailing at the Ploughing Championships. This provides multiple control points along the pit for the user to operate the milking equipment.

They also launched Draft-Now during the Covid pandemic which is a standalone drafting system. It includes a new software programme and mobile App which has extra functionality and lots of benefits.  It is a system that allows the dairy farmer to easily sort the cows remotely if necessary. It can be installed on farms with or without Dairymaster’s auto ID system and is suitable for other parlour brands that need a reliable drafting system.

You are very welcome to visit their stand no. Stand no.115 Block 2, Row 7.

Dairymaster Dairy Equipment-A World Market Leader

Dairymaster is a family owned business & their objective is to make dairy farming more profitable, enjoyable and sustainable. The company has carved out a reputation, both nationally and internationally, for providing hi-tech solutions for milk producers and is recognised as one of the world’s most innovative Agri companies.

Dairymaster have won numerous Innovation Awards worldwide including at the three largest agricultural exhibitions in the world. The MooMonitor+ has won awards in Ireland, Britain, Hungary and the USA.

The prestigious Eurotier Gold Medal for innovation was awarded for the Swiftflo Revolver Goat Rotary milking parlour in Germany and the Swiftflo Commander (an IPad for cows) has won three different innovation in Ireland and was shortlisted for the Prince Philip Award at the Livestock Event in Britain.

Dairymaster’s innovative product range encompasses five key areas:

Milking Equipment; Automated Feeding Systems; Manure Scrapers; Cow Health & Fertility Monitors and Milk Cooling Tanks. Technology is a big focus throughout.

It is a standalone drafting system that includes a new software programme and mobile app which has extra functionality and lots of benefits.

It is a system that allows you to easily sort your cows remotely if necessary.

It can be installed on farms with or without Dairymaster’s auto ID system and is suitable with other makes of parlours that want a reliable drafting system.

Check it out on video at

Dairymaster does the opposite to more expected business practices. It researches, develops and manufactures in one rural location in north Kerry where they employ almost 400 people.

This integrated manufacturing model has allowed capability to be built, strengthened team building  and has helped engender a culture where information and ideas are shared and a dogged determination to succeed evident in all areas.

This is one of the many things that makes Dairymaster special.

Dairymaster’s location, customer focus and constant monitoring of product performance in the marketplace, has given the company an up-to-the minute understanding of all aspects of the dairy equipment industry as it evolves.

Dairymaster have customers in more than 40 countries, including Britain, USA, EU, Japan, New Zealand and Russia.

100 Year Old Fordson Tractor on McAree Engineering Stand at Ploughing Championship

100 Year Old Fordson Tractor on McAree Engineering Stand at Ploughing Championship

This historic tractor was restored over the last 10 years by local Benny McCabe a local Monaghan man and is powered by tractor vaporising oil [TVO]. Manufacture of the Fordson tractor took place in the USA from 1917 and production in Cork from 1919.

The McAree stand will be bigger and better than ever before and display their full range of V-Mac silos on display. These include the enclosed, legged and offset options as well as their 4 ton hopper and Tote bins. The feed silos are constructed using Magizinc, a modern steel that provides the extremely high levels of protection against corrosion and with exclusive interlocked forming and are incredibly strong.

McAree make their silos different from anyone else as the rolled body construction ensures a smooth inside wall helping excellent product flow and super-strength construction. Suitable for the agricultural, biomass, waste water treatment and plastics industries – V-Mac silos are available in a range of styles and formats.

In addition McAree will be featuring the SiloSpi feed silo monitoring solution, featuring Lvlogics software and monitoring application. They will also be showing their new Feed Mill Silo Concept. This innovative design is intended for use in high throughput, high volume storage situations like industrial mills. This is a new Square Silo that is fully configurable to any size you require and is easy to assemble. The first ones are currently being installed on a JMW Farms feed milling site in Co. Armagh.

Visitors to the stand have the opportunity to win a V-Mac feed barrow valued at €400. McAree personnel on the stand will include Fergal Sherry, Noel Kiely & Peter Richardson.

Background Information

Henry Ford grew up in an extended family of farmers in Wayne County a few miles from Detroit, Michigan in the late 19th century. At the time, farm work was extremely arduous with no mechanisation. As his interest in automobiles grew, he also expressed a desire to "lift the burden of farming from flesh and blood and place it on steel and motors.”

McAree Engineering has been helping farmers to protect their feed since the 1960’s when Vincent McAree designed and manufactured the very first V-Mac feed silo. V-Mac silos are constructed using Magizinc, a modern steel that provides the extremely high levels of protection against corrosion and with exclusive interlocked forming and are incredibly strong.

McAree now has one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in Europe. This family owned business has developed a reputation for Quality, Value, and Customer Service over the last 75 years. They focus on the design and manufacture of sheet metal fabrication solutions for the industrial and agricultural sectors.

Operating across three factory units in North Monaghan, they have an strong machine capability including a Trumpf 8000 Trulaser with 12m x 2.5m laser bed and a 7m wide, 600 ton EHT Press Brake leading their suite of Lasers and Press Brakes.

The modern manufacturing facilities are operated by a 180+ strong team of experienced professionals whose focus is on delivering quality products to all customers on-time, in full, all the time.

They offer a full outsource sheet metal service from design through to laser cutting, folding, fabrication, dry powder paint coating and assembly in addition to the design and manufacture of V-Mac Silos.

McAree Engineering are committed to achieving the highest quality of engineering – from design, to fabrication, delivery and project management. They are proud to have achieved the Certification of CE Marking (EN1090) up to and including Execution Class 2 (EXC2). The management system is accredited to ISO9001:2015 (Quality), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental) & ISO 45001:2018 to ensure that everything manufactured is off the
highest quality, with minimal risk to the Environment and in the safest possible way.

Check out the V-Mac range of market leading feed silos, tote bins etc on YouTube at or at For more information please contact McAree Engineering, Ballinode, Co. Monaghan. Tel: + 353 (0)47 79000


Benny McCabe pictured with a 100 Year Old Fordson Tractor. He restored over the last 10 years.


Irish farmers have been warned by Teagasc of the serious dangers to their health posed by mouldy bales and feed.

Irish farmers have been warned by Teagasc of the serious dangers to their health posed by mouldy bales and feed.


“Dust, spores and vapours from mouldy bales can cause very server respiratory illnesses” according to Dr. John McNamara, Teagasc Health & Safety Specialist who has warned that many farmers should be wearing masks when opening bales.

 Speaking at a recent webinar on the subject, he highlighted recent research which found “some 60pc of farmers have some kind of respiratory issue,   while some 13pc of farmers have an airways disease and 12pc have some form of lung damage.”

 Dr. McNamara warned that “spores from mouldy bales could cause significant long-term health problems, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, and shortness of breath, weight loss and farmer’s lung.”

 As regards animal heath the potential disease impact and reduced animal performance means the feeding of mouldy forage should be avoided at all costs as the majority of moulds produce mycotoxins.

 These metabolites have a toxic effect on an animal’s metabolism.

 At the very least, mycotoxins will reduce milk yields in cows and performance in beef animals, abortions and, in extreme cases, death.

 However with the new Film & Film bale wrapping system mouldy silage is no longer a problem for livestock farmers and their valuable animals.

 Declan Gilligan who is based near Eyrecourt in Co. Galway and his farm contracting business covers a large catchment area from Clarinbridge in co. Galway, Banagher and Tullamore in Offaly and into North Tipperary.

 Declan does all the bulk fertilizer spreading for Liffey Mills, Banagher, Co. Offaly throughout the year.

 His cousin Conor operates one of the biggest hi tech, bulk fertilizer spreaders in Ireland.

 This is a Bredal 135 powered by a Claas 8430 Axion tractor (Can be seen working on YouTube.)

 Other key members of his farm contracting team are Anthony & Mark.

 According to Declan fertiliser usage is well down and this is impacting on grass growth & he expects a similar situation next year due to high fertiliser prices.

 Declan is married to Sinead and also does baling & reseeding. He has been contracting for the past 21 years.

 “We bale around 10,000 bales of silage, 3,000 bales of hay and about 2,000 straw bales.

 For baled silage we use Silotite1800 purchased from Andrew Smith, Manager of Liffey Mills in Banagher, Co. Offaly. “Liffey Mills give me a good service, competitive prices and top class products” says Declan.

 According to Andrew “With its 1800m length, contractors get up to 20% more bales per reel, so less downtime to change reels.

 Also the new Silotite1800 has an enhanced oxygen barrier and UV protection for bales, whatever the weather.”

 The innovative sleeve packaging offers significant advantages for contractors and stockists.

 Being lighter than the standard cardboard box, there is a reduction of almost 20kg in packaging material used on every pallet.

 Declan’s farm machinery includes three Claas tractors, two Fendt’s, a Kuhn fbp 3135 integrated baler wrapper, A Claas 540 baler & a McHale hi speed 991 bale wrapper.

 In addition Declan has two Claas mowers (front & back) and a 27 foot Claas twin rotor Liner rake.

 He leaves the grass tedding to the farmers and the bale transport.

 However he will move bales for older farmers and those who do not have suitable equipment.

 His silage harvesting work can be seen on Facebook & on YouTube at

 Declan’s customers include beef, dairy & sheep farmers making baled silage.

 However many of his beef customers are retiring from farming and their land is now leased to dairy farmers.

 According to Declan many dairy farmers take surplus grass out of production by making baled silage.

 Declan says that “first cuts were heavy but second cuts are light.

 The price of balewrap was well up this year but there were less bales/acre due to the dry weather so that helped reduce costs to his customers.”

 Another problem for Declan was that his diesel costs have doubled this year.

 Last year was the first year he used the film and film system using his Kuhn baler wrapper.

 According to Kuhn the film consumption is reduced by 30% thanks to the unique patented KUHN TWIN-reel film binding system.

 Film & Film (F&F) wrapping is an innovative dual wrapping method, which combines the use of balewrap and netwrap replacement film.

 This results in better shaped and more compact bales which can better withstand handling.

 Using baler film instead of netwrap F&F wrapping system helps to reduce silage losses by reducing mould growth particularly in dry bales and preventing silage becoming enmeshed during feed out.

 According to Declan everybody who used the film & film system last year used it again this year because they had no problems with mouldy silage in dry bales or haylage.

 In addition we had a lot of news customers for the film & film system.

 Photo. Mark Feehan baling and wrapping 120 silage bales with 1800m Silotite using the Film & Film system and a Kuhn fbp 3135 integrated baler wrapper for farmer Basil Howard, Killimor, Co. Galway.

Excellent Long Term Prospects for Irish Lamb Producers

Excellent Long Term Prospects for Irish Lamb Producers

-However Trace Element Deficiencies Can Be a Major Problem

Animax is a world class innovator in the animal supplementation sector, with a reputation for manufacturing ground-breaking products. Their nutritional and medicinal products can maximise performance. They are best known for their Tracesure range of unique leaching boluses.

Animax manufacture highly effective, all year round supplementation, so whatever the weather each animal will receive the correct balance of trace elements for their weight and for optimum results.

Animax have recently rebranded their popular Irish sheep bolus which has a full age spectrum covered by an expanded leaching bolus range and is colour-coded to help farmers make the correct choices.

  • Consistent release with unique leaching bolus technology
  • Accurate daily supply of correct essential trace element levels
  • Superior individual supply to other forms of trace elements

(For pre-breeding use, this packaging indicates 40kg+ liveweight, available with or without copper)

According to Flor Ryan, Animax sheep specialist & a well-known pedigree Texel breeder himself “covering even minor deficiencies of essential trace elements can improve sheep performance by eliminating their negative effects on energy metabolism, critical enzymes and hormones, and aspects of immune function.”

Now, consistently accurate daily trace element supplementation has become easier in lambs (15kg+) and adults with the next generation of trusted and unique Tracesure range of unique leaching boluses.

Each variant contains exactly the right level of supplements for the intended age group without unnecessary components such as vitamins. All options are available with or without copper.

Product names have been simplified with new colour-coded packaging to help ensure the correct sized boluses are used: Pale blue for Tracesure Lambs, a darker blue Tracesure Sheep for ewes and rams.

This distinctive livery is to help farmers observe a golden rule for high livestock productivity, according to Animax veterinarian Dr Elizabeth Berry. “Using the right product to supply the right levels of supplementation has never been more relevant than today when Irish livestock farmers are coping with all-time high prices for feed, fuel and fertiliser,” she says.

“For example, much of Irish grassland (see attached map), and therefore silage, hay and other forages too are deficient in essential trace elements. So for many farmers, there’s an opportunity to ensure an essential daily trace element supply, which is critical to ewe and lamb productivity alike.”
The consistent release, leaching technology used in Tracesure boluses was developed by and is unique to Animax. It supplies trace elements at a consistent rate, compatible with animals’ daily requirements. To minimise labour requirement, boluses can be given when sheep are already gathered for other management tasks.

From Allsure to Tracesure
Trace element boluses that Irish farmers have known and trusted for a number of years as Allsure will be known here from now on as Tracesure.
Other than new product name, the boluses are exactly the same except that the range has been expanded to cover the full age spectrum of sheep (and cattle too).

Tracesure Sheep bolus user guide
Sheep (blue packaging)
Adults: Pre-tupping & pre-lambing
Lambs: At weaning & when finishing

For further info, please visit a

Or contact Flor Ryan, Animax sheep specialist, Tel: 086 811 5560.



Embrace FARM has many options to support you in finding your way through sudden loss

Embrace FARM, a support network for farm families bereaved by sudden & unexpected death, or who have survived farm accidents has today launched their autumn schedule of supports.

Sometimes being around people who have experienced sudden loss like you have brings relief that you no longer have to describe how you feel.

Over the past 8 years Embrace FARM has met many farm families who have experienced such tragic loss, farm families who have to try to adjust to rebuilding their lives after such trauma. Embrace FARM is the place where you will find support, friendship and understanding. Group Supports

Some of the people Embrace FARM meet are women at all stages of their lives with young families or grown-up adult children. They have lost their partner in life suddenly and now have to take on their partner’s role as a farmer. This brings many questions, decisions to be made and uncertainly for the future sometimes, while also attempting to nurture their children’s grief.

Embrace FARM also meet parents who have tragically and suddenly lost their child, an unimaginable grief that goes against the natural order of life that no words can attempt to describe. Embrace FARM meet adults at all stages in their lives coming to terms with the sudden death of their sibling, parent, grandparent.

Sometimes that close friend and neighbour is a huge loss to not just their own family but also their community in which they have so generously been involved in. Embrace FARM also meets survivors of farm accidents who once they are through the long road of medical rehabilitation then have to figure out how to move forward in a new way.

This autumn, Embrace FARM has a number of options to support farm families.

• Meeting people who have been through what you have in a supportive group online or in person

When trying to navigate your way through sudden loss you must spend time looking after yourself. You can experience such a range of emotions that sometimes it can be helpful to meet with a group of likeminded people on that same journey.

Embrace FARM has three different groups running this autumn (1) Self Care & Wellness (2) Art Therapy (no experience needed) and (3) Online Tea & Chat

• One to One support through our new Encircle program allows Embrace FARM to provide you with individual supports that you may need right now.
Embrace FARMs Encircle program involves a tailored approach to you. Encircle provides emotional support through 1:1 counselling, and professional mentoring with Farm Business, Legal, Financial and Succession planning information to support individuals in the aftermath of a sudden trauma on farm.

As each farm families’ circumstances are different, Embrace FARM will support you in whatever way you feel you need. To find out more information about Embrace FARMs supports email or call 057-8510555 / 085–7709966.

Just call us and have a chat and we’ll figure out a way forward together.

Reconnection through loss

 ‘Reconnection through loss’ grieving families gather to remember 255 persons lost to accidents and traumas on farms at the Embrace FARM Annual Remembrance Service.

The 9th Embrace FARM Annual Ecumenical Remembrance Service took place on Sunday 26th June at the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.


Embrace FARM, the support network helping farm families grieving the loss of a loved one or those injured in accidents and traumas on farms on the island of Ireland, was delighted to welcome families in person to its annual remembrance service for the first time since the Covid-19 Pandemic began. The service will be broadcast on RTÉ 1 on Sunday 3rd July at 11.00am or can be viewed on

Speaking at the opening address, Embrace FARM Co-Founder Brian Rohan saidThe recent years have been difficult for those of us grieving the loss of a loved one with the isolation of the pandemic adding to the journey. This year we will again remember all those who have been affected by trauma from every corner of our island. Today, hopefully plays a part in your healing. We give thanks to all who are making this service today possible: Fr. Paddy Byrne, Parish Priest at Abbeyleix & Raheen; Canon Patrick Harvey, Rector of Abbeyleix & Killermogh Union of Parishes; and Tina Cuddy, who is directing our local musicians”

Remembrance Service

The most poignant point of the service was the rollcall of 255 deceased names of farm accidents and traumas. Read out by Norma Rohan, Co-Founder of Embrace FARM with Angela Hogan, Embrace FARM Director, names dating as far back as 1934 were submitted by the close families and friends of the deceased. Farm families present in person for the service were given a candle to light and placed on the altar near the photos of the deceased that lined the steps to be remembered.

“We speak their names because they are a part of everything that we do, everything that we are. We speak their names because they are still, and always will be, a part of us.” – Brian Rohan, Embrace FARM Co-Founder

Martin Heydon TD, Minister for State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine lit four candles from St Brigid’s flame. This candle is held by the Brigidine Sisters in Kildare and was re-lit as a perpetual flame in 1993 by President Mary McAleese, representing the four provinces of Connacht, Leinster, Munster & Ulster. Representatives from national farm organisations kindly read out prayers of the faithful in thanks and gratitude to all that support the agricultural industry in Ireland;

  • IFA – President Tim Cullinan,
  • ICMSA – President Pat McCormack,
  • ICSA – President Dermot Kelleher,
  • UFU – President David Browne,
  • Irish Seed Trade Association- Brigid Quigley
  • ASA – President George Ramsbottom

An Taoiseach’s ADC Commandant Claire Mortimer, presented a wreath to Mrs Brenda Flynn in memory of her late husband Kieran and their immediate family. The Flynn family will take the wreath home and place it on their family grave as a mark of respect and remembrance by the island of Ireland to represent all the final resting places of our loved ones lost suddenly on the farms of Ireland.

The Embrace FARM Annual Ecumenical Remembrance Service will be broadcast on RTE 1 on Sunday 3rd July at 11.00am. For further information visit or on Facebook at

Reconnection through lossPictured L2R are Embrace Farm founder Brian Rohan; Abbeyleix, George Ramsbottom, ASA president; Tim Cullinan, IFA president; David Brown, Florencecourt, Co. Fermanagh, UFU president and Commandant Claire Mortimer, Westport, Co. Mayo ADC to An Taoiseach at the Embrace Farm, Ecumenical Remembrance Service in the Church of the Most Holy Rosary, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, Sunday 26th June 2022.Photo by Alf Harvey, no reproduction fee.

New Report from University of Galway Says Agri Sector needs forestry to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2050

New Report from University of Galway Says Agri Sector needs forestry to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2050

A major report, “The Economics of Afforestation and Management in Ireland: Future Prospects and Plans” commissioned by AuxiliaGroup and compiled by Professor Cathal O’Donoghue, the established Chair of Social and Public Policy at the University of Galway has been published today at a 10 am media function in Buswells Hotel, Dublin. His well-researched report has highlighted the opportunities and challenges of delivering national forestry goals to deliver carbon neutrality by 2050.

Although the national afforestation policy has been a success over the past century, planting 690,000 hectares (11% of the land area) there has been a substantial decline recently with only about 2,000 hectares planted in 2021 which is only 8% of peak planting in 1995.

The national Climate Action Plan, that sets a roadmap to reach net zero emissions no later than 2050, identifies afforestation as the single largest land-based climate change mitigation measure available to Ireland. The area of new forestry required to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is 18,000 hectares per annum. The Climate Action Plan sets a target of 8,000 hectares per annum, which is actually 10,000 hectares below what is required. Ireland is currently missing the required planting by 16,000 hectares per year. The cost in terms of the State carbon price of missing afforestation targets by 6,000 hectares is more than €400m at a €100 carbon price per ton over a 40-year forest rotation and €1bn relative to what is needed.

According to Professor O’Donoghue “the more we fall short of the afforestation target the greater will be the need to deliver CO2 reductions from other sources including agriculture unless there was a major reduction in animal numbers with consequential economic impacts.”

The report highlights beef and dairy targets of Food Harvest 2020 were met early, but the forestry target was never achieved, with only once in 2010 was even 50% of forestry target met. The study finds that if the afforestation target had been met, it would have allowed for carbon neutral dairy expansion.

Given the existing fall off in afforestation levels over the past two decades, the forest estate will move from being a carbon sink to a carbon source. However, the more we can plant in the immediate term, the less deep the impact will be. Delaying planting decisions as a result has a major impact on the capacity to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The report highlights the opportunity to enhance the financial incentives for afforestation and to overcome some of the challenges in relation to replanting. It provides a comprehensive economic and cost benefit analysis of such incentives. The report also details the need for the development of a Forestry Development Agency and a review of the best department location for forestry in achieving national carbon neutrality goals. Professor Cathal O’Donoghue makes 14 key cost-effective recommendations which can help achieve the planting targets required for carbon neutrality.
Deputy Jackie Cahill , chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for agriculture, welcomed the initiative and the report. He stated that “any such recommendations that can restore confidence in forestry, including owners affected by Ash dieback, must be acted upon by the department, particularly given its significance in achieving national climate change mitigation targets”.

Paul Ryan, CEO of AuxiliaGroup, said “it is critical to link farm incentive programmes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with forestry incentive programmes.”



Jackie Cahill TD, chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for agriculture, pictured discussing a  major report, “The Economics of Afforestation and Management in Ireland: Future Prospects and Plans” commissioned by the AuxiliaGroup and compiled  by Professor Cathal O’Donoghue, Chair of Social and Public Policy at the University of Galway. Prior to this he was Head of the Teagasc Rural Economy and Development Programme .According to this report the Agri Sector needs forestry to reach Carbon Neutrality by 2050.

McAree Engineering & Silo Spi Fee Silo Monitoring Solution at Balmoral Show 2022

According to Peter Richardson, Marketing Manager at McAree Engineering “Sales of silos in Northern Ireland have continued to be brisk across all sectors over the past few years.

All sectors have experienced significant growth with Poultry, Pigs and Dairy sectors all seeing high levels of investment.  This year we are expecting to see a levelling off as farm input prices have escalated considerably. “

However Peter went on to say that “Nonetheless, while Farmers are seeing a major increase in the cost of animal feed and it is important that they protect their feed now, not just from a bio security perspective but also to reduce the waste that comes with storing feed  in a shed or loft.

Up to 10% of feed can be wasted through vermin and handling damage when feed is not stored in Silos and with prices approaching £400 per ton that can be an expensive waste.

There is also the time saved on feeding livestock by using an auger or even a barrow”

McAree will be displaying their popular range of V-Mac Silos and handling equipment at Balmoral show as well as featuring Silo Spi our silo monitoring solution, featuring Lvlogics software and monitoring application.

Since Feb 2021, the UCD Lyons research farm  they have been using Lvlogics system to monitor feed silo stock levels and to check the humidity and temperature of the various feed diets stored in the six meal bins.

Backed by Lely, the Lvlogics system provides accuracy on silo contents to within 2/3%.

The UCD Lyons farm has six V-Mac feed silos manufactured by McAree Engineering on site.

These feed silos are used to store beef and dairy rations along with numerous feed diets currently being trialled at UCD Lyons.

Dr. Eddie Jordan the farm manager and his team at Lyons can access all this data easily on their smartphone or on the office computer.

When feed stocks fall to a predetermined level, they receive an alert and can order further supplies in good time.

The plan is to allow feed millers access to this data so they can manufacture the speciality diets and arrange delivery in a more cost- effective manner.

The laser sensors used by Lvlogics system have a patented self-cleaning mechanism to deal with the dust in a silo, so the data supplied is always accurate.

According to Eddie Jordan “prior to installing this system monitoring feed stocks was very time consuming and we didn’t always get it right. It can be difficult to see what is in a silo and manual checking takes time.”

Eddie explained that “due to changing weather conditions the humidity and temperature in the feed silos could change leading to condensation etc.

So we could have unforeseen problems with feed bridging in the silos or going mouldy.

Humidity checking is becoming more important with more complex feeds which have a range of additives and are more reactive to heat and humidity.

The feed silo monitoring system can be powered by batteries, mains electricity or even solar panels. This technology is unique, patented and Irish.

The multiple *award winning Lvlogics system, which has worldwide potential due to its ability to improve feed quality, farm safety and logistics issues, was developed by Barry and Eileen Finnegan who are based at Oldcastle, Co. Meath.

Peter Richardson, Fergal Sherry, Noel Kiely, Barry and Eileen Finnegan look forward to meeting visitors to the stand C54 where one can also enter a free raffle for a V-Mac Barrow worth £300.

Photo Caption. Our photo shows L2R: Jonny McGovern, Production manager with Fergal Sherry, Sales Manager at McAree Engineering pictured with  a V-Mac Silo en route to Teagasc Ag College in Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan. What is unusual is that this feed silo will be used to fed their flock of 285 ewes & their lambs. The flock ewe type is primarily Suffolk cross Texel with some Belclare genetics, with Texel, Suffolk and Charollais rams been the preferred terminal breeds for the mature ewes. Creep feed is introduced to lambs from three weeks of age and lambs are finished at approximately 12 weeks of age on an ad-lib diet.

Pic at the Balmoral show 2021 during a visit to the McAree Engineering stand are Grace Brown  Agricultural student from Newtownards attending Harper Adams University,  Peter Richardson, McAree Engineering  and Eileen Finnegan-LV logics from Oldcastle Co. Meath-Pic David A Scott Photography

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