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Record 90% Farm Plastics Recycling Rate Achieved

Record 90% Farm Plastics Recycling Rate Achieved

Irish farmers achieved a record 90% recycling rate for farm plastics in 2021 and in doing so recycled the equivalent of plastic from 18 million silage bales. The vast majority of the plastic was collected at over 200 bring-centres, which the Irish Farm Films Producer’ Group (IFFPG) held during the summer at locations such as marts, coops and agri-merchant premises.


This also represented a boost to circular economy objectives in Ireland as over a third of collected material was supplied to Irish recyclers for processing into a range of new products.


In total, 37,000 tonnes of silage wrap and pit cover waste was recycled in 2021, which was 3,000 tonnes more than in 2020 which was also a record year. Recent record levels of recycling can be attributed to a growing farm plastics market largely due to the abolition of the milk quota, as well as ever-increasing numbers of farmers engaging in recycling.


For the average farmer who produces 300 bales of silage, the total recycling cost is approximately €60, while average distance to his / her local bring-centre is only 11 km. These factors, as well as a desire by farmers to be environmentally responsible, have resulted in the recycling rate for farm plastics 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 400,000 tonnes of farm plastics waste since its establishment in 1998. The scheme, which is funded by both the farm plastics industry and farmers and approved by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, is an excellent example of what can be achieved when all the key stakeholders in a sector come together to work for the environment.


Ossian Smyth , Minister of State at the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform, welcomed this year’s record achievement of 90% recycling of farm plastics. He said “The work of IFFPG is an excellent example of the positive impact that a successful Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme can have in enabling Ireland to responsibly manage our waste and transition towards a circular economy.


The success of this Scheme is testament to the effort and continued commitment of the farming community across Ireland to play their part in protecting our environment.


Using domestic recycling solutions, where possible, to deal with our waste farm plastics, is also a very welcome development in this sector and aligns with the core principles of our Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy.”


Last year, IFFPG supplied a third of what it collected to two Irish recycling facilities –  ADN Materials in Carrickmacross and  Sabrina Integrated Services (SIS) in Littleton. Ms Ciara Carolan who is a director with ADN Materials said that “in 2021 the company recycled 6,000 tonnes of farm plastics waste into pellets for sale to manufacturers of new plastic products such as refuse sacks and garden furniture and are currently upgrading their facility to recycle even more farm plastics waste this year”.


Additional Information


The Irish Farm Film Producer’s Group (IFFPG) is the national farm plastics recycling scheme. It was initially licensed by the Minister for Environment in 1998, with the support of the farm plastics industry and the Irish Farmers’ Association. It is funded primarily through a recycling levy which is charged to companies who place farm plastics products on the market, as well as a weight-based collection charge to farmers.  It collects the majority of farm plastics waste at bring-centres (over 200 each year), which are one-to-two-day collection events that are held at locations such as marts and coops. It also collects waste at the farmyard. Since its establishment, IFFPG has collected in excess of 400,000 tonnes of farm plastics waste for recycling, with Irish recyclers supported where possible. It is currently collecting in the region of 35,000 tonnes of waste each year and consistently exceeding the 70% national recycling target.


For Further information contact Liam Moloney, CEO of IFFPG group

Email:  Tel. 01 4089966 or 087. 978 6287

Or Ciara Carolan, Director of ADN Materials:

Email: Tel: 042. 9673587 or 087 929 0488



Photo Caption

Iffpg 3: Pictured L2R: at Merrion Square, Dublin announcing the achievement of a 90% recycling success  rate for Irish farm plastics in 2021 are: Ciara Carolan, Shercock, Co. Cavan & Director of ADN Materials Ltd, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, Liam Moloney, Limerick Junction, Co. Tipperary & CEO of the IFFPG group with Green TD, Ossian Smyth, Minister of State at the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform and Tom Dunne, Chairperson IFFPG, Kilworth, Co. Cork

Leitrim Lady New GM for Irish Simmental Cattle Society

Leitrim Lady New GM for Irish Simmental Cattle Society

Deirdre McGowan has been appointed General Manager by the Irish Simmental Cattle Society, took up her position on Feb 7th    and will be based at the Tullamore office. Deirdre studied Ag Science at Waterford IT and qualified from UCD with a B.Agr.Sc degree. She then went on to secure an M.Sc in Agri Biotechnology (First class Honours) from Dundalk IT. The title for her thesis was ‘comparative analysis of two contrasting genotypes in sustainable beef production.’

Deidre hails from near Mohill in Co. Leitrim where the family breed pedigree Limousin and Shorthorn cattle. She has judged the Shorthorn breed, young handler classes and has exhibited cattle at livestock numerous shows.

Deirdre has also worked as an Inspector and School Competition coordinator for Certified Irish Angus. Prior to joining the Irish Simmental Cattle Society, Deidre was employed by Aurivo Coop marts (Ballymote & Mohill), the Midland &Western Livestock Improvement Society and as an Agricultural Consultant in Co. Donegal where she facilitated five beef knowledge transfer groups.

Commenting on the appointment, Emmanuel O’Dea, President of the Irish Simmental Cattle Society said: “We are very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm that Deirdre has towards the role.

“We feel that her experience as a pedigree breeder combined with education and experience in the mart/beef sector gives her a great skillset for the varying challenges that the role will bring.”

Concluding, the society president said: “We look forward to working with her to establish the Simmental breed as having a key role in improving the carbon footprint of both our dairy and suckler beef.”

Following her appointment, Deirdre said: “The Simmental breed is renowned for its excellent maternal abilities and commendable growth rates for their age and these traits are vital for economically sustainable and environmentally friendly beef production, which is important in today’s climate.

“I look forward to working with the Council of the Society and its members to promote the Simmental breed’s importance in both the beef and dairy herd.” For further info please contact Deirdre at 086. 333 0548 or email her at  Also check out their website at

Editors Note

The Irish Simmental Cattle Society was established over 50 years ago and is now the no. 1 beef suckler breed in Ireland. Simmental cattle were first imported in 1971 by very discerning cattle breeders seeing a key role for the breed due to its high beefing qualities. This first importation of live animals came from Austria followed by importations form Switzerland, Germany, France and Britain.

Embryos and semen has also been imported from Canada, USA and Demark. This has resulted in the Irish Simmental population being very diverse. Irish breeders have focused on the beefing traits of the breed while ensuring that adequate milk supply is not lost.

The breed has grown steadily since its introduction here driven by demand from commercial farmers and a desire by pedigree breeders to move the breed forward. Now there are on average 2,500 pedigree registrations per year.

The popularity of the Simmental cow can clearly be attributed to her ability to calf any breed, having enough milk to maximise the performance of that calf. When high fertility and docility are added, it leaves Simmental in a very strong position within the National Herd.

ICBF data has resulted in the Simmental Breed coming to the fore as the most profitable BEEF breed. Simmental is the most consistent breed across all traits. Irish Simmentals have been exported to Britain, Canada and the USA in the past. Recently there has been a strong interest from Austria & Switzerland (countries of origin) as well as Denmark for semen from Irish bred bulls. It is the beefing qualities that are attracting this interest with many countries now seeing Ireland as an ideal source for Beef Simmental

Data released from Herdwatch indicates that Simmental calves had the best ADG (average daily gain) at 1.38kg/day. A total of 6,797 calves across 371 farms have had their weights recorded with the Herdwatch app between January 1 and November 28, 2018. During this period, for 2018-born calves the ADG across all breeds – equalled to 0.99kg/day. In 2017, the ADG across all breeds was 0.84kg/day.

Since 2012, the ICBF has been testing commercial ca­ttle in Tully (beef bull progeny performance test station). Over this time, 1,849 steers or bulls from all major beef breed have been tested. Assuming a birth weight of 42kg for all breeds, Simmental had the highest daily gains; pre-trial, on-trial and overall from birth. At the Tully trials the Simmental cattle were ready for the factory 40 to 50 days before other beef breeds.

When you look at the carcase weight gain figures for steers, the Simmental breed also achieved the highest gain at 0.63kg/day. The other breeds ranged from 0.57kg/day to 0.61kg/day. The Simmental breed also had the best feed efficiency, which could also be associated with the younger age. So from an environmental perspective the Simmental breed is an animal with an excellent carbon footprint.

Young Longford Farmer Is a YouTube Sensation

Young Longford Farmer Is a YouTube Sensation

Philip Stewart, better known as ‘FARMER PHIL’, is a beef and tillage farmer based in

Ballinamore, Co. Longford. The family farm is near the Royal Canal in the picturesque village of Killashee or Cill na Sidhe meaning ‘The Church of the Fairy Mound’ or ‘The Wood of the Fairies’.

Philip is a member of Macra na Feirme and the IFA. Farming approximately 240ac of tillage and 300ac of grassland, (50/50 owned/rented) the family farm is a partnership between Philip, his father Derek and his Uncle Ian. The family also has a large farm contracting business and operates a wide range of machinery. As Philip says “we do everything except hedge cutting.”

His brother Eric, his sister Jessica and his fiancé Olivia Hartshorn also help out. His mother Diane does “all the book work, accounts and all the behind the scenes work.” During the busy season the family also employs some extra workers to help with silage and harvest.

Philip studied in Gurteen Ag College and qualified with a Green Cert in 2016. He is very active on Social Media. Mainly YouTube, where he uploads videos every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday that feature everything from contracting and cattle, to machinery demos and vintage tractors. Philip can also be found on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. One of his videos uploaded onto YouTube on 3rd June, 2021 had c. 418k views. According to Philip his “videos are seen in 120 countries, 50% of views are from Ireland, 33% from Britain and the rest from around the world.”

Up until 2004, they were milking a pedigree Jersey herd but were wiped out by TB. They also had a pedigree Limousin herd until 2016, when they switched from the suckler enterprise to a dairy beef finishing system.

Around 400 dairy x beef calves (aged from 10 days upwards) are purchased every spring from local dairy farms. Calves are fed milk replacer using automatic calf feeders and weaned onto a calf ration supplied by Liffey Mills. Philip is a big advocate for Jersey X calves and finds that Jan/Feb born calves are generally healthier and give the best performance.

The Stewart Family used to buy bagged feed which is more expensive than bulk feed and aside from biosecurity risks they also had significant feed losses from vermin. So they purchased a 16t green split V-Mac feed silo from McAree Engineering which could store two different calf rations and which also protected the valuable calf feed from hungry vermin.

According to Teagasc, rodents if not controlled can cause serious economic losses on farms through consumption, contamination and spoilage of food and feed, spread of pathogens which are damaging to human and animal health, damage to buildings and equipment and loss of quality assurance accreditation e.g. Bord Bia.

The new feed silo has two bagging chutes and the Stewarts can move feed using a McAree barrow to the calves. One side can also be retro fitted with an auger if required, to load their Keenan diet feeder. According to Phil “We chose a McAree bin as we felt it was the best manufactured feed silo on the market. Great value for money due to their being trouble free and a guaranteed long life.”  Noel Kiely, from McAree Engineering was very helpful and gave us good advice on preparing the base for the silo. You can check out the preparation necessary before arrival and installation of the new V-Mac silo at

Cattle are bedded through the winter either on home grown straw, milled peat or on slats in the former dairy sheds. Finished cattle are sold mainly to Dawn Meats in Slane at a target liveweight of 500kgs minimum. Bulls are finished before 24 months, bullocks at around 25 months and heifers at 26 months. The cattle are all fed on a grass based system with a 100% home grown finisher ration except for biscuit meal, a food waste product supplemented by a mineral vitamin mixture.

The family grows 240 acres of cereals plus field beans (which replaces imported soya beans for protein) and forage maize (under cover) to feed their own stock. They also sell surplus oats and winter barley to an Agri merchant, local equine and livestock farmers. Philip says “we also sell some baled silage, square bales of hay and straw to local farmers. Square bales are popular -because of their higher density and shape they take up less storage space (scarce on many farms) than round bales.”

As mentioned earlier the family operate a wide range of machinery for their farm contracting business. This includes a fleet of Massey Ferguson (MF) tractors, a MF big square baler and a MF combine harvester. They also have a Claas Jaguar silage harvester, a Fusion baler wrapper, JCB loader and many other machines.

Bertie (an Irish x Lakeland terrier), one of their dogs, particularly likes to travel around the farm in a tractor cab and can often be seen in Philip’s YouTube videos. The Stewart family also have a large collection of vintage tractors and machinery from Fergusons to Nuffields, including the first ever tractor the family owned bought by his great grandfather a petrol Ferguson 20 , also included in their collection are 4 vintage MF combine harvesters.

Philip and his fiancé Olivia have also opened a Farm Shop this year, Stewart Family Farm, selling their own home produced beef, which is slaughtered and processed by a local butcher in an approved abattoir. Alongside this they also sell a range of produce from Co. Longford, including honey and elderflower cordial, as well as ‘FARMER PHIL’ merchandise. According to Philip “our Friesian and Jersey x beef is selling well. We have great feedback from customers and people are coming back for more.” Their beef, merchandise and other produce can be ordered online, by phone or by visiting their store. Philip says, “The shop is going great, we have a great range of customers from locals to sending boxes of beef to the four corners of Ireland”.

A more recent farm enterprise in conjunction with the Farm Shop was a crop of homegrown pumpkins. Open for the week before Halloween, visitors were able to ‘pick your own pumpkin’. Another great example of farm diversification and an enterprising young farmer.

Philip, his father Derek, fiancé Olivia Hartshorn   and Bertie the dog.



Dairymaster creates another 40 jobs for rural Kerry

Hi Tech Feed Quality & Monitoring Solution for Feed Silo Levels at UCD Lyons Farm

Dairy equipment manufacturer Dairymaster is delighted to announce they are expanding their team with over 40 additional positions across all departments at their Global Headquarters in Causeway, Co. Kerry. There will also be other vacancies at their growing international bases in UK, USA, Germany and The Netherlands. Dairymaster who is a world leader in the ag space has customers in over 40 countries worldwide.

From design to manufacture, Dairymaster do it all in-house and because of growing market share in their key markets they are recruiting for more people to join their team. They are seeking skilled individuals, spanning across all departments from welders, laser machine operators, fabricators, engineers, sales & marketing, accountancy and much more.
Dairymaster also offer apprenticeships and graduate programmes in many disciplines. This gives people the opportunity to learn a new skill and gain a qualification while being paid. All Dairymaster staff are encouraged to learn through continuous in-house training. This allows employees to focus on developing new skills in a progressive working environment.
“We are delighted to be in a position to be expanding our team here at Dairymaster in a time that may feel uncertain for many. Our aim is to continue to meet the growing needs of farmers around the world. We have exciting plans; we are looking for people across a wide range of disciplines to join our fantastic team. Dairymaster is known for innovative hi-tech products which are providing long term solutions for a changing industry and we can only continue to develop with the support of our staff” comments John Harty, CEO Dairymaster.
Today’s announcement is great news for Kerry and a massive boost to the local economy.
Current vacancies include but are not limited to:

• Welders – Tig, MIG
• Robotic Welders – Laser, MIG
• Laser Machine Operators
• Tank Fabricators
• Installation Team Members
• Software Engineers – Mobile App Developers, Embedded, Electronic, Cloud Computing, Robotics & Vision Systems
• Design Engineers – Electrical, Mechanical, Building & Civil
• Data Scientists
• Graphic Designers
• Digital Media Specialists
• Senior Financial Accountant
• Purchasing & Supply Chain Specialist

Kerry is a great place to live and work. Commute with ease from wherever you decide to base yourself. The surrounding landscape is a mix of lakes, mountains, world renowned golf courses and according to Trip Adviser, Ireland’s top beaches, you’ll not be short of options in Kerry.
We would love to hear from you, please visit for a full list of job specs and email your CV and cover letter to Breda Flaherty

Closing date for all applications is Friday 27th of August at 5:00pm.

McAree Engineering to Launch SiloSpi Smart Feed Silo Technology at Balmoral Show

McAree Engineering to Launch SiloSpi Smart Feed Silo Technology at Balmoral Show

McAree Engineering together with Lvlogics will be displaying the latest innovation in Silo Feed Monitoring technology at this years Balmoral Show. The LvLogics, SiloSpi technology   is being used successfully on a number of Irish livestock farms with V-Mac Silo installations on a range of different applications over the past 6 months.

Fergal Sherry, V-Mac Silo Sales Manager explains “we have been looking for a solution that uses smart technology to let a farmer know how much feed is in his silo for a long time.  Feed consumption can often be faster than expected and the meal bins can run out of stock. This puts severe pressure on feed compounders as they may have to schedule deliveries at short notice and often at weekends, thereby incurring extra costs and may find staff unavailable. If feed supplies are interrupted, valuable animals will be under stress, performance will suffer and profitability on farm will be reduced.

According to Fergal, a dairy farmer himself “The solutions that are available are either very expensive, albeit very accurate, or inconsistent.  When Lvlogics introduced their SiloSpi solution it ticked all the boxes for us straight away and offered so much more.  It provides accuracy to within 3%, is cost efficient and allows the farmer to access valuable data on a range of devices using an easy to follow app.”

Barry Finnegan, CEO of Lvlogics continues “we have developed SiloSpi to solve a number of problems. Apart from showing farmers what’s in their feed silo, it can also monitor humidity, a key aspect in determining feed quality and helping protect your silo.  It also removes the need for farmers to physically check the silo to see what’s in it, improving farm Safety.  Farmers can choose to share this information with their feed supplier thereby allowing them to more efficiently manage deliveries and reducing re-supply costs.

Since Feb 2021, the UCD Research Farm at Lyons Estate, headed by Dr Eddie Jordan has been using the innovative SiloSpi system to monitor feed levels in their V-Mac Silos and to check the humidity and temperature of the various livestock diets stored in the six meal bins.  Backed by Lely, the Lvlogics system provides accuracy on silo contents to within 2/3%.

Dr Jordan and his busy team can access all this data easily on their smartphones or on the office computer. When feed stocks fall to a predetermined level, they receive a text alert and can order further supplies in good time. Their feed miller also has access to this data so they can manufacture the speciality diets and arrange delivery in a more cost- effective and sustainable manner.

The laser sensors used by the LvLogics system have a patented self-cleaning mechanism to deal with the dust in a feed 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 due 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

V-Mac Silos will be displaying the Lvlogics, SiloSpi solution on their stand at the show. SiloSpi can be retrofitted to any existing feed silo and this work will be carried out by the Lvlogics installation team.V-Mac silos are also running a free competition to win a V-Mac Feed barrow  (see photo) valued at €400 (£345)  – just fill out an entry form at the V-Mac Silos stand C 66on  8th Avenue.

Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering; Eileen Finnegan, LvLogics; and Dr. Eddie Jordan, Manager Lyons Farm.
Dr. Eddie Jordan, Manager Lyons Farm; Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering. and Eileen Finnegan, LvLogics.

Embrace Farm Remembrance Service

Grieving Families Remember those Lost to Farm Accidents at Embrace FARM service

The 8th annual Embrace FARM (Farm Accident Support Network) Ecumenical Remembrance Service took place in Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday June 27.
Embrace FARM was founded by Brian and Norma Rohan, a farming family from Shanahoe, Co. Laois in 2014 after Brian lost his father Liam Rohan in a farm accident in 2012.

Liam Rohan was a popular farmer who represented Ireland many times at the World Ploughing Championships. Like most farming families the Rohan’s experienced great and invaluable support from neighbours and friends but were surprised to find that there was little or no emotional or practical support networks available to farm families suffering such loss.

So, they established Embrace FARM which remembers those who have lost their lives, have been injured, supports survivors of farm accidents, their family members, friends and the wider community.

Speaking at the virtual remembrance service, founder Brian spoke about a recent trip to Aras an Uachtarain. He said: “Today we will remember all who have been affected by farm accidents in the 32 counties of our island. Farm families, extended family members, neighbours and friends who have lost a loved one and also those who have survived accidents. All of you are part of a story involving a long journey of loss, grief and trauma.

“Early last week Embrace FARM was kindly invited to Aras an Uachtarain by the President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina to be presented with a tree to acknowledge the work that Embrace FARM does. “What an honour it was to ring the Peace Bell in remembrance of all the lives lost and injured on the farms of Ireland.

“Embrace FARM are delighted and grateful to be joined today by the Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, Canon Patrick Harvey and Fr Paddy Byrne, who will lead today’s service with the help of our local resident musicians.

“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 read out the names of 228 deceased victims of farm accidents from the island of Ireland going back to 1945. Embrace FARM records show that 15 of these were from his own county Laois. Cork was top of the list with 33 deaths which is not surprising as it is the biggest county. Next on the list was Wexford with 18 deaths, Kilkenny had 17 deaths, Tipperary had 16 deaths and Galway had 8 deaths. There were 29 deaths from the 9 counties of Ulster.

John Keane, National President of Macra read a poem by Brendan Kennelly, Liam McCarthy from Portaferry, Co. Down and representing the ABP group did a reading from the book of Genesis (9: 8-17) while Mairead Lavery, Agri journalist who lost her father at 12 years of age was the key note speaker. Martin Heydon TD, Minister for State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Farm Safety etc. lit four candles representing the four provinces of Connacht, Leinster, Munster & Ulster.
A notable feature on the altar which took two hours to prepare by Embrace Farm volunteers were the photos of 105 farm accident victims. The service was filmed and by Kairos Communications based in Maynooth and live streamed on the Embrace Farm website.

Tina Cuddy led the group of local musicians with the instrumental accompaniment to the service. Their vocals and harmonious tones brought home the poignancy of the service in what it means to so many to have their loved ones remembered each year. This service will also be broadcast on RTE1 television station next Sunday, 4th July at 11am.

Brian Rohan, founder of Embrace Farm on the altar of the Most Holy Rosary Church, Abbeyleix on Sunday 27 June 2021 with photos of 105 deceased farmers who died in tragic accidents on the island of Ireland.
Pictured L2R are John Keane, National President of Macra Na Feirme, Martin Heydon TD, Minister for State at the Dept. of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Farm Safety etc. Norma Rohan, co-founders of Embrace Farm with Liam McCarthy, Portaferry, Co. Down and ABP group, Mairead Lavery, Agri VIP and key note speaker at the service.

Agribusiness & Farmers Hard Hit by Rising Raw Material Prices

Agribusiness & Farmers Hard Hit by Rising Raw Material Prices

Farmers are well aware that energy, fuel and fertiliser and other prices are soaring. Fuel costs have increased by 33pc since autumn because   OPEC and other oil producing countries decided to slash output during the Covid-19 crisis. The increase in fertiliser costs, has seen the cost of CAN and urea move up by €50-100/t. The price of balewrap and silage covers has also soared. According to the manufacturers this is due to a 50% increase in raw material costs.

Covid 19 greatly reduced the demand for steel during the pandemic as car manufacturers and other customers hit by reduced sales greatly reduced their orders. Demand has now recovered but demand for steel far exceeds available supplies from China and elsewhere. Steel prices are also higher in the USA than in the EU so the USA is getting more of the scarce supplies.

Steel production has a number of negative impacts on the environment, including air emissions (CO, SOx, NOx, PM2), wastewater contaminants, hazardous wastes, and solid wastes. Environmental restrictions imposed on the steel industry are also impacting severely on production.

For example three regional governments in South Korea insisted that Posco and Hyundai Steel halt their mills for 10 days over violations of the Clean Air Conservation Act. According to the Korea Iron & Steel Association “If steel mills are closed for 10 days, it takes more than six months to resume the plants.” Incidentally the world’s largest steel mill is in South Korea.

With China adopting a strong stance on emission controls and imposing steel output reductions, supplies from there will obviously tighten thereby impacting on prices. In Tangshan, the city government in March 2019 instructed most mills to cut production by 30 per cent until the end of the year and told seven steelmakers to keep output at half capacity until July.

According to media reports the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from Asia to northern Europe has increased from about $2,000 (€1,648) in November to more than $9,000 last January, according to shippers and importers.

Apparently thousands of empty containers were left stranded in Europe and the US in the first half of 2020 due to the   coronavirus lockdowns which caused a sudden slowdown in global trade. When western demand for Asian-made goods rebounded in the second half of the year, competition among shippers for available containers sent freight rates soaring. .

 Most of the steel imported to Ireland comes in via Belfast port so Brexit has also impacted on import logistics and costs. These increasing prices are impacting all farm machinery manufacturers.

According to Peter Richardson, Marketing Manager with McAree Engineering in Co. Monaghan “the price of galvanised steel is increasing from €850/t in 2020 to €1700/t in Q3. Mild steel is seeing a similar increase as well.  In addition, we are seeing shortages of steel supply which is compounding the problem”.  So steel prices are doubling during this period. ”McAree have announced their second price increase in 2021 this will add 30% to feed silo prices for livestock farmers.

Bluemount Trailers is a family owned farm equipment business based near Mountnugent in Co. Cavan. They specialize in the manufacture of high quality livestock trailers and their 18ft livestock trailer is very popular with smaller farmers.

However, Paddy Finnegan their Design Engineer says they have been hard hit by rising prices since early January last for steel. According to Paddy the mild steel they use “has increased in price from around €600 per tonne in Q4 last year to over €1,000 per tonne in Q2 this year -an increase of over 70% and prices are still increasing.

We were aware last November that prices would increase, however as we are a small family business, we could not afford to pre pay and stock up with supplies at the old price. Manufacturing trailers to farmers’ specifications leaves it extremely hard for us to plan ahead with the large variation in trailer sizes.”

Paddy went on to say “In addition we are also paying higher prices for axles, wheels, lights and even paint costs have increased. Supplies for axles, wheels and steel are very tight due to increased demand in the market so we have no choice but to pay the higher prices.  To remain competitive we have taken a lower profit margin however the increased raw material costs unfortunately have to be passed on to our farmer customers. “

Farmers building new cubicle houses and other livestock buildings have also been hit by rising concrete, steel and timber prices. An increased demand for timber in the US housing market, the Covid-19 crisis, and an upsurge in demand in the global DIY market, has seen timber prices rise steeply since the end of Q1 2020.

Licensing issues related to the felling of Irish trees and Brexit stockpiling have added to problems in the market, resulting in a pile-up of supply pressures. The supply of native timber in Ireland has been hampered by delays in the issuing of licences.

For example the number of forestry appeals received by the Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC) by the start of November 2020 was 689 appeals- almost three times the amount received in 2017 and 2018 combined.

O’Dwyer Steel based in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary are one of the leading suppliers in Britain and Ireland of CE certified structural steel and cladding. According to their Managing Director, Matthew Ryan steel prices have risen by 40% or €330/t. They have also been impacted by rising timber prices.

Another well-known firm feeling the pressure from increased costs is Dairymaster a multinational dairy equipment business based in Causeway, Co. Kerry. According to Dr John Daly, Research and Innovation Manager, “Since Q4 2020 we are being impacted with double-digit cost increases across all raw materials categories – including steel, polymers and electronics components.

The impact of these increases are being exacerbated by lead times extending from weeks to months, and in some cases to more than 12 months. In addition, the effect of Brexit means that couriers are now charging significantly higher fees for components sourced through the UK. So far we have resisted passing these costs on to customers but the extent of the increases mean that we will have no option but to raise our prices in the coming months”.


Pictured L2R: Vincent, John & Claire McAree with Darren Hughes, Monaghan County footballer & a local dairy farmer; and Niall Kearns Monaghan Co. Board with a V Mac silo in the background

Shannonside Northern Sound Local Radio Farm Program

Interview for Stuart Anthony, Account Manager for bpi agriculture in the Republic of Ireland & Wales with Noel Murphy, presenter of the popular Agriview program on Northern Sound/Shannonside radio.

BPI Agriculture manufacture: Baletite & Silotite for bale wrapping & Clingseal plus Visqueen silage covers which are the market leader.

20% More Bales Wrapped with New 1800m Silotite Rolls

20% More Bales Wrapped with New 1800m Silotite Rolls

For over 35 years, Silotite has been used by farmers and silage contractors all over the world to wrap millions of silage and haylage bales every year.

Through a programme of continual in-field research and investment in their production facilities,

As part of its mission to continually improve efficiency, ease of use and sustainability.

Silotite have announced a major investment in their British production site which will enable the company to add new products to their Professional Range of bale wrapping films.

The investment includes a fully automated and patented sleeve packaging line, enabling the production of silage film with an additional 20% extra length on the roll.

The new product, Silotite 1800, will start to roll off the production line in spring 2021.

Designed specifically with contractors in mind, Silotite 1800 is perfect for both round and square bales and can be used on any type of crop and bale wrapping machinery.

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

Along with the quality of film you’d expect from Silotite, our new Silotite 1800 is a technically advanced stretch film that 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.

Cardboard also takes up a lot of space on the pallet. By using sleeve packaging we can add an extra 300m of film on each reel.

Along with time savings, Silotite 1800 means there is 20% less handling, transportation and storage space required.

Its unique sleeve packaging means that there are no bulky boxes to handle, and recycling is easy, as the packaging is made from the same film as the bale wrap.

No separating of recycling materials is needed. Another advantage of the sleeve packaging is that the reel is more protected when it is stored on the baler.

The water resistant core also give protection against humidity, whilst still being made of cardboard, it is also recyclable.

Silotite 1800 also works in combination with Baletite baler film, meaning even more versatility.

Baletite baler film ensures round bales are compact and denser, and provides an enhanced oxygen barrier that discourages mould growth.

Baletite also benefits from the sleeve packaging, for ease of use when handling.

Baletite and Silotite 1800 combine to make up the film & film wrapping system that has been proven to provide an efficient and enhanced wrapping system, along with superior silage and easier feed out.

Baletite peels cleaning from the bale surface as no fodder can be enmeshed as it can with net wrap.

Whether feeding out manually or mechanically, Baletite makes the process easy and fast.

Stuart Anthony is Account Manager for The Republic of Ireland & Wales.

A member of the Bpi Agri sales team since 2014.

Since 2019 have been giving technical support for the Republic of Ireland.

From a farming background, which included running a dairy herd and also working for an Agri contractor.

Stuart would be delighted to discuss current best practice on conserving baled silage on your popular farming radio programme.

His contact details are as follows: and phone number is +44 7836 612691

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