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Displaying items by tag: Farming

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is appealing to the farming community to continue to be vigilant and to play their part in protecting waterways from the threat of agricultural pollution.

The call comes following the conviction of Corrib Farming Ltd, which permitted agricultural effluent to enter the Suileen River, a tributary of the Clare River in Co Galway.

While the advent of round bales has reduced the potential for pollution, IFI is warning that the continued use of silage pits can put rivers at risk.

Silage effluent is a highly toxic substance when it gets into rivers, starving the fish and invertebrate life of oxygen. When rivers are low in summertime, even a small leak can cause huge damage.

Maintenance of silage pits and slurry storage facilities is essential to ensure that leaks or overflows are not permitted.

As highlighted in the Good Agricultural Practice Guidelines from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, farm effluent and slurry should only be spread responsibly when heavy rain is not forecast and never close to a watercourse.

Last Tuesday 8 June, at a hearing in Tuam District Court, Corrib Farming Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Fisheries Acts on 22 September 2020.

David Harrington, senior fisheries environmental officer with IFI, gave evidence to the court of tracing the source of a significant pollution event on the Suileen River back to a pipe emanating from the company’s farm in Tuam.

The initial report was made by a member of the public to IFI and upon investigation, heavy algal growth was found in the river. These were indicators of nutrient enrichment of the waterbody, covering approximately 4km downstream of the discharge point whereafter it enters the Clare River.

Water samples taken as part of the investigation confirmed that the farm discharge had caused water pollution of the Suileen River.

‘Silage effluent is a major pollutant if it enters a watercourse and can have severe and long-term consequences’

Although the court heard that the company had fully cooperated and undertaken to remedy the situation immediately, there was significant damage caused to the water quality of the Lough Corrib catchment.

Judge James Faughnan convicted Corrib Farming Ltd and directed that the company pay €1,000, not by way of a fine but towards restorative works on the Lough Corrib catchment, as well as laboratory expenses of €349.32 and legal costs of €800.

Patrick Gorman, Galway director in the Western River Basin District at IFI, said: “Having good water quality in our lakes and rivers is vital for healthy fish stocks and their habitats.

“We are appealing to farmers to take precautionary measures during the current silage season and when land-spreading to ensure watercourses are protected against harmful pollutants.

“Silage effluent is a major pollutant if it enters a watercourse and can have severe and long-term consequences. The increase in excessive nutrients drastically reduces the oxygen content in the water and can be the cause of major fish kills.

“To protect water quality within our fisheries, we are asking the farming community to continue to be vigilant and practise good farmyard management. Any member of the public can report suspected pollution directly to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s 24-hour confidential hotline on 1890 34 74 24.”

The Clare River is the largest tributary of Lough Corrib, a designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC) which sees thousands of salmon and trout run the river to spawn every year.

It provides a valuable angling facility for local and tourist anglers, with six different angling clubs located along the river.

Patrick Gorman added: “Members of these angling clubs have invested heavily in recent years to improve spawning and nursery habitat for salmon and trout. They rely heavily on the environmental stewardship of local farmers to maintain the Clare River and ultimately Lough Corrib as top angling waterbodies for local and international anglers.”

Published in Angling

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett has congratulated a number of farmers in Duncannon, Co Wexford on improvements they have achieved in tackling water quality.

Over two-and-a-half years of the department-funded Duncannon Innovation Project, studies show bacterial counts in two streams which flow into the sea have fallen considerably while ecological assessments also show an increase in numbers of many pollution sensitive macroinvertebrate species

Speaking from Duncannon yesterday (Thursday 10 June), Minister Hackett said: “I am really proud of the contribution made by both the farmers and my department to improving the bacterial quality of the two coastal streams that flow onto the beach here.

“While sewage was a factor in Duncannon Beach losing its Blue Flag in 2007, nutrients and sediments from agricultural use were issues, too. So it is gratifying to visit and hear about both the improvement in water quality and the increase in species which have returned to it.”

The project, run in collaboration with Wexford County Council, was awarded €550,000 from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Rural Development Programme, using the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) model.

Local farmers were provided with a full-time sustainability manager who helped with their Pollution Potential Zone (PPZ) plans and explained how sources of pollution could be dealt with.

Various measures were implemented such as fencing watercourses, putting in arable grass margins alongside the streams, moving water troughs, planting extensive runs of native hedges and implementing enhanced nutrient management planning for all farms.

Minister Hackett was also briefed on how the reduction in pollution from agricultural sources has highlighted other sources of bacterial contamination resulting in Irish Water accelerating planning for a municipal wastewater treatment system for the area to 2021.

“Bringing the start date of that plant forward is really good news for this very scenic area on the Barrow Estuary,” she said.

Published in Coastal Notes

#IslandNews - Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney has announced that payments for island farmers under the new Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme have started issuing.

“I am particularly pleased to see that these payments, worth some €1 million, are issuing on target, particularly given the significance of these payments to individual island farmers," said the minister, who previously announced the designation of offshore islands in May 2015 as Areas of Specific Constraint under the new Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) Scheme, which replaced the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

The scheme is co-funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

“I am delighted that these payments have commenced to issue given the challenges island farmers face on a daily basis, particularly in view of the difficult weather conditions they have encountered during recent months," said Minister Coveney.

"Island farming is difficult in the best of years and the objectives of this aid is to maintain agricultural production in these areas, to provide a boost to the economic activity on the islands, and to deliver environmental benefits such as the preservation of their unique habitats."

The minister confirmed that payments will continue to issue as individual cases are confirmed eligible for payment in the coming weeks.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#WATERFRONT PROPERTY - Anyone thinking of retiring to the country life should be more than a little tempted by Poppy Lane, a residential farm on the southern shore of Galway Bay now on the market.

Irish Independent Farming reports on the 72-acre property at Killeen Hugh, just four miles from Kinvara and 17 miles from Galway City, with ruggedly beautiful views from the Burren to the sea.

The land consists of mostly fertile ground with no buildings, with water supplied via a private well, with the adjacent traditional four-bed farmhouse has been refurbished in recent years, with oak floors and solid doors.

Agents Keane Mahony Smith have set a guide price of €225,000 for the house and €7,500/acre for the land, with the property also available in lots including the land or the house on their own.

More details of the properly, including images, are available HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

#WATERFRONT PROPERTY - Impressive non-residential farm-quality lands overlooking Oysterhaven Bay in Co Cork are on the market for €2.55 million.

Extending to 270 acres, Ballymacus Farm - just 6km from Kinsale - is being offered for sale in the entire. The farm represents quality arable land with easily managed divisions, a superb coastal position and a pleasant undulating aspect.

The majority of the farm is in tillage production and laid out in five principal divisions, with the balance of the farm comprising pasturage along the headland areas.

However, the farm would be equally suitable for use as dairying, dry stock or mixed enterprise farming, albeit with fencing and the provision of services and buildings required. An existing but dated farmstead could provide a basis for a modern farmyard.

Set at the southeastern end of the peninsula at Breghane Point and facing across to Oysterhaven Bay, the combination of undulating hills, the dramatic coastline and expansive sea views creates a breathtaking experience.

Ballymacus Farm is available through joint agents David Ashmore at Sherry FitzGerald and Christy Buckly with an asking price, of €2,550,000. To arrange a viewing contact Christy Buckly at 021 488 5173 or David Ashmore at 01 237 6320.

Sherry FitzGerald has more details on the property, including photos, HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

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