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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘One would nearly want to take fertiliser out with a spoon in case one would waste any’

“If they cannot keep animals over the winter and if we do not have a supply of beef coming into the trade, we will have food shortages because it will not be viable for farmers to stay in business and supply milk, beef, or lamb.”

That is the stark warning Independent TD, Michael Healy-Rae, raised during a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees who discussed the recent cost-of-living measures in Dáil Éireann on Wednesday May 11th.

During his speech, the deputy, first of all, pointed to the pig industry, the losses that are occurring on farms, and the DAFM’s recent support measure.

Pig prices 

He told the house that it is “unsustainable” for farmers to sell pigs at a loss of up to €30-€35/animal.

He said: “Many people might not think about that. Our hard-working piggeries that have survived different calamities over the years will be forced to closed in the coming months.”

“The package that was delivered was a sop. It meant nothing in real financial terms,” he claimed.

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“I could provide figures in which it equated to 35c/pig to certain piggeries that supply an awful lot of pigs in the trade and whose losses are enormous.”

Fertiliser and feed

The deputy then discussed the link between feed and fertiliser prices. He revealed that “to have feed, we must have fertiliser”.

“I thought I would not live to see the day when bags of fertiliser would cost €50-€55. The price continues to go up.”

“One would nearly want to take the fertiliser out with a spoon in case one would waste any bit of it because it is so valuable. It is crazy. That model is unsustainable.”

“Some parties have said that they want to reduce the national herd. This will make it very easy for them because people will not be able to keep the animals over the winter.”

‘My family unit would have disintegrated if it was not for turf’

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Danny Healy-Rae accused the government of “crossing and hurting so many people in rural Ireland”.

That is how the Co. Kerry representative described Minister Ryan’s proposed ban on the sale of turf. Following mixed reports, the ban may come into effect this September.

He said that people are “angered, mad, sad and sore” after “being hit” by the suggestion that they cannot buy turf.

Read the full news article.

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