RTÉ’s popular farming and rural affairs programme, Ear to the Ground, continues its groundbreaking 30th season on Thursday, December 8th at 7 pm on RTÉ One.
In tomorrow night’s episode – the eighth of this series – the spotlight is on the current bird flu outbreak, ACRES, and farming on Tory Island.
In brief, Darragh McCullough meets a turkey grower to see how he is coping with the threat of bird flu.
Then, Ella visits Tory Island, where Islanders greet six cows on the land for the first time in 25 years, and Helen Carroll speaks to a farmer participating in the Burren Programme who stands to lose out financially through the new Agricultural Climate Rural Environmental Scheme (ACRES).
There are just weeks to go before Christmas – when many Irish families will be serving turkey at the heart of Christmas dinner.
But confirmation of Bird Flu found on some turkey farms in Monaghan – have resulted in culls of infected flocks and the establishment of a tight surveillance zone around those farms.
There are strict controls on movement and biosecurity measures in place. Darragh McCullough meets a turkey grower within that surveillance zone to find out how he is coping under pressure to deliver “healthy and safe” birds for Christmas shoppers.
On January 1st, 2023, ACRES, the new Agricultural Climate Rural Environmental scheme comes into effect, replacing GLAS.
However, it will also replace a number of schemes in SACs – including the Burren Programme, a results-based agri-environmental scheme which is the envy of Europe.
The founders of the Burren Programme, Dr Brendan Dunford & Dr Sharon Parr, have announced they are stepping down as the new ACRES scheme will “not deliver for farmers or the Burren due to capping of payments and lack of local flexibility”.
Helen Carroll speaks to a farmer participating in the Burren Programme who stands to lose out financially through ACRES and to Brendan & Sharon about their reasons for resigning.
It has been 25 years since a cow was seen on Tory, but in July, as part of the Corncrake LIFE Project, 6 young Galloway heifers made the 9-mile trip from the mainland across to the island to their new home.
Ella Mc Sweeney made that journey with them from Seanie Boyle’s farm, where they were raised, onto the ferry and across the sea to Tory, where they were warmly welcomed by the locals with music and singing.
Selling the family farm
In a previous episode, Joe Cutogno, featured to tell the story of selling his family farm, because of debt arising from healthcare costs, which you can read about in this news article.