A hoopoe: it is 50 years since so many have been spotted in Ireland.

Birdwatchers believe a funnel of air caused them to overshoot France and land in Ireland

When the horse-meat scandal emerged in 2013 beef cost about €4 a kilo while horse meat was around 90 cents

Department of Agriculture and gardaí in EU operation of 26 arrests and passport seizures

Goal chief executive Barry Andrews said hospitals in Nepal were overrun and huge numbers of people had been left homeless and were sleeping rough. Photograph: AFP Photo/Getty Images

Oxfam Ireland says search and rescue is the initial priority, then providing water, food, medical care and shelter to survivors

 International Federation of the Red Cross  workers carrying an injured person in Kathmandu, Nepal,  April 25th, 2015. Photograph:  EPA/Carl Whetham/IFRC/EPA

Dublin climber Paul Greenan one of several climbers evacuated from Everest base camp

Under EU regulations, details of all payments made to Common Agriculture Policy beneficiaries in 2014 must be published by member states before May 31st. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Some farmers were concerned publication could leave them open to attack by burglars

The EU milk quota regime ended on March 31st and the department has estimated that farmers were 4.34 per cent over quota for the 12 months up to that date.

‘Super levy’ relates to 12 months before quota system ended

Michael Kelly, founder of Grow It Yourself, with Sara Whelan from New Ross’s edible quayside project. Some 200 projects  have been approved for grant aid from a community gardens fund run by Grow it Yourself. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Vegetable patch for asylum seekers among 200 projects to be aided by garden scheme

Fruit and vegetable growers say they are on their “last gasp” and there is a risk that some vegetables will no longer be commercially grown in Ireland if action is not taken. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Committee told dominant position of supermarket chains ‘single biggest threat’ to industry

Faoiltiarna Keenan, a student from Co Tyrone gives a hand to US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley and Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan while they pose for a photograph at  a USIT and CIEE (Council of International Educational Exchanges) orientation session at UCD student centre in  Belfield for J-1 participants. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Wrecking of rented San Francisco property in 2014 did ‘reputational damage’, consul-general says

Farmers must sign up for five years under the scheme and will receive up to €220 per hectare a year while they are converting to organic farming.

Almost 2,000 farmers are registered organic, well below EU average

Kitty Scully, head kitchen gardener at Airfield Farm in Dundrum. Photograph: Alan Betson

Kitty Scully, head kitchen gardener at Airfield Farm in Dundrum, talks about growing food for Overends cafe, educating children a(...)

Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation , addresses delegates at the  opening of the Paddy O’Keeffe Innovation Centre at Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co Cork

Carlos Moedas says progress is outstanding in food security, agriculture and bio-economy

Rob Kearney, Zoe Kavanagh, chief executive of the  National Dairy Council, and Minister for Agriculture Simon  Coveney at the launc h of National Dairy Week.

€250,000 campaign is organised by the National Dairy Council

 Alf McGlew and Andrew Purcell with Minister of State Ged Nash and Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, participants in a Teagasc farm safety walk on their farm at Grangebellew, Co Louth. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Thirty people killed in farm accidents last year and three have already died this year

Des Jeffares on his blackcurrant farm in Ballykelly, Co Wexford

Manufacturer who runs last commercial farm in State attempts to save the industry

Try some of these questions asked at the quiz final

More than 25,000 children took part in the regional rounds over the past three months and they were whittled down to 400 children in 100 teams for the final. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Irish League of Credit Unions president says standard is getting higher every year

The Macra na Feirme website. “Macra na Feirme, as the only representative body for young farmers and rural youth in this country, should be proud of its achievements, especially in the context of the recent CAP young farmer measures.”

Seán Finan says organisation has massive scope for growth and development

All the candidates are prominent Macra na Feirme members and are all involved in farming.  Photograph:  Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Four candidates are in the race to succeed outgoing president Kieran O’Dowd

Less meat, more vegetables, reduced food waste . . . These are among the ways you can help cut carbon emissions. An event in Dubli(...)

A scene from The Passion Play in Ballylinan, Co Laois. Photograph: The Passion Play/Facebook

Three-hour production of story being staged for sixth time in Ballylinan

Teagasc’s indicated its dairy expansion service would be up and running before the end of May. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Dairy farmers need to ramp up production to drive income, says farm organisation

Leaders of the dairy industry gathered at the Department of Agriculture for a dairy-filled breakfast to mark the end of the milk quota regime with Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.

Biggest policy change for rural Ireland in a lifetime, Minister for Agriculture says

Thomas Dwan, IFA dairy chairman Seán O’Leary and Edmond Dwan, with the family herd near Thurles, Co Tipperary on the last day of milk quotas. Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

Talk of ‘milk bubble’ dismissed amid evidence Irish dairy farmers will proceed cautiously

Badger culls have been used to try to stop the spread of TB, but this method of disease control has been criticised by animal welfare groups, particularly in the UK. File photograph: Getty Images

TCD zoologists place collars carrying devices on 50 nocturnal foragers in Wicklow

Minister for Development Seán Sherlock said Ireland’s contribution would fund humanitarian supplies, health, education, water and sanitation services, as well as measures to protect children. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seán Sherlock says Ireland have donated more than €41 million since start of conflict

Irish Water: “A full clean-up is under way and relevant agencies will be notified.” Photograph: Getty Images

Utility indicates that spill occurred in Bennettsbridge but was quickly contained

NDC chief Zoe Kavanagh: “How do you make sure that we have mechanisms in place to ensure that we are operating to the highest standards rather than depending on the weakest link?”

Of those surveyed, 90% say reputation of the Irish dairy sector is robust

Polish MEP and candidate for President of Poland Janusz Korwin-Mikke addressing supporters in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Controversial candidate for Polish presidency Janusz Korwin-Mikke says drugs should be legalised

Digging in: Mick O’Dea and Matt Smith at Moy Hill Community Farm. Photograph: Calum Creasey

The volunteer group grows fruit and vegetable and holds regular workshops

Kanayo Nwanze, president of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development, said it was only when Ebola crossed the African deserts into Europe and crossed the ocean into the United States that “the world began to tremble”. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Cost of dealing with outbreak could have built health services in three affected countries

EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan said Europe would not allow the importation of hormone beef if a trade deal is agreed with the US. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Farmers’ group says EU talks with US could result in chemical-enhanced meat in domestic shops

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, pictured with Mary Fogarty from the Cottage Cafe in Loughmore village, Co Tipperary, said he was keen to see new ideas for renewing villages and small towns. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister Alan Kelly says funding must be used to ‘sustain employment’

Senator Gerard Craughwell: suggested “accident-free days” notices

Several calls for farm safety education to be compulsory in schools

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter: “It represents a huge opportunity to showcase the breadth, depth and capabilities,” of the Irish food industry

Food and drink buyer event is biggest ever staged in Ireland

John Mulhare as Jesus Christ during  rehearsals for the passion play in Ballylinan, Co Laois. Photograph: Alf Harvey/HRPhoto.ie

Almost 200 people involved in staging mammoth three-hour production of the Easter story in the Co Laois village, which runs from F(...)

“Investing in a dairy expansion operation takes a lot of money; and if you don’t manage your budgets, when you have a fodder crisis you can’t feed your animals”

Teagasc says vast majority of farmers not carrying out financial planning even though many are expanding as milk quotas are bein(...)

Tasty grub? The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has highlighted the nutritional value of insects and the benefits insect farming could have on the environment and on addressing the demand for food worldwide. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Interest growing in use of insects in human and animal diets

Milk volumes are expected to increase by 50 per cent by 2020 on foot of the milk quota regime being abolished at the end of March.

Dairy farms account for 58 per cent of farm fatalities

 Irish Farmers Association  president Eddie Downey: he said the policy scenarios were “hypothetical and illustrative”. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Fears that policy in EU climate-change report could cut beef herd by 59% and dairy by 14%

Vet sentenced: court  told that Gary Adams’s offences were at the upper end of the scale. Photograph: Alan Betson

Wicklow vet Gary Adams supplied antibiotics to farmers in distant counties, court hears

Dr Karen Twomey, research scientist at Tyndall National Institute, and Teagasc food scientist Dr Phil Kelly. They are working on a bio-sensor which will detect harmful spore-forming bacteria in milk much quicker than conventional testing

Scientists say device will detect spore-forming bacteria in minutes instead of days

R Ford Denison: the professor of ecology, evolution and behaviour at the University of Minnesota

Natural selection has served the world well thus far, says prof R Ford Denison, and should be encouraged

From April 1st, farmers will be free to produce as much milk as they wish and it is expected that milk supply will increase by 50 per cent by 2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Up to 200 expected at event for dairy farmers in Tipperary

 Younger people see eggs as a healthy food because of the protein content, according to Bord Bia. Photograph: The Irish Times

One-in-three people now opting for eggs as dinner choice, according to Bord Bia data

Figures showing that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector have stalled are welcome but give no reason for complacency, Friends of the Earth Ireland director Oisín Coghlan has said.

First time in 40 years that emissions halted or reduced during economic growth

Simon Coveney: People were “talking about young people leaving rural Ireland, but all of the evidence is the opposite for us in fact”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Demise of cultural linchpin rings hollow when it comes to farming, says Minister

IFA dairy chairman Sean O’Leary said Minister Simon Coveney (above) must urgently set out the detailed arrangements for dairy farmers and co-ops.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

EU agrees to plan to spread bill over three years

Cow numbers are expected to increase by at least 300,000 in the coming years which means a lot more grass will be needed. Photograph: Getty Images

More than 86,000 acres offered for sale in 2014, a 15.4% increase on previous year

Aaron Forde: “Currently the Aurivo milk cheque to farmers comes to more than €120 million a year.” Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

It started as a group of farmers churning butter in 1897 and is now shipping produce to almost 50 countries

 Glanbia’s new nutritional ingredients plant at Belview,  Co Kilkenny. Photograph:  Eamonn Farrell/Photocall

Kilkenny dairy processor supplies almost one third of the State’s milk pool

Muintir na Tíre chief executive Niall Garvey said it was amazing that there was no national policy for rural Ireland.  “There have been white papers, strategies and so on, but there is no national policy as to where we see rural Ireland, what we think it should be like, how we get there and what are the services needed to support that. Where is the line in the sand beyond which we are not going to cut any more of those services?” File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Saving Rural Ireland set to fight what it sees as decimation of services

Mark Garrett, a former adviser to former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

Mark Garrett will be Glanbia’s director of communications and public affairs

A Lely Astronaut robotic milking machine in operation. “There’s been a major increase in demand in the last eight to 10 years in Ireland and sales have grown exponentially since,” said Lely’s sales manager Aidan Fallon.

Lely Ireland says it has sold more than 300 automated units, north and south and most of those sales have been in the past five or(...)

A Food Safety Authority of Ireland     microbiological survey found harmful bacteria in raw milk and in the filters used in the milking equipment.

Campaign for Raw Milk Ireland describes study as not relevant

In New Zealand the average herd size is 400 cows. The average herd size in Ireland is 60 cows.

High debt and environmental problems take some sheen from success story

Dr Edmond Harty (left) and David Fleming, makers of the Moo Monitor, wearable technology for cows that transmits messages to farmers. Photograph: Domnick Walsh

Rural revolution: Kerry-based Dairymaster has seen business increase 30%-40%

Colm O’Leary at his family farm in Carrigrohane, Co Cork: “I have really loved this first year. Last year’s calves were the first calves I had total responsibility for and they are in great condition, so it is really satisfying.” Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

‘If I’d gone into any other job I would not be working for myself at the age of 24’

Dairy farmer Michael Doran from Duncormick, Co Wexford. Doran used to be a well-known figure in the beef sector. Photograph: Patrick Browne

Michael Doran was well-known in the beef sector and even served as IFA livestock chair

Glad to see the end of quotas: Mike Magan, a Co Longford dairy farmer, says the system brought the worst of both worlds, as milk prices fell rather than rose. Photograph: James Flynn/APX

On April 1st dairy quotas will be abolished, and for the first time in three decades farmers will be able to produce as much milk (...)

Pat McCormack: “Teagasc has spent the past 30 years researching how to best grow and utilise grass, and Irish farmers have that pretty much perfected.” Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Pat McCormack of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association is worried about colleagues’ financial problems

Glanbia Ingredients Ireland CEO Jim Bergin,  Taoiseach Enda Kenny  and EU Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan giving bottles to  Annie and Saoirse Power (9 months), and Noah Connolly (14 months) at the plant which will produce infant formula. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

€185 million investment marks the first greenfield dairy site since the 1970s

MEP Maireád McGuinness: Described the steady fall in farmers’ share of the consumer price as “dramatic”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Producers received 31% of final price in 1995 but 21% in 2011, according to FG MEP’s figures

Four candidates have been confirmed to run for president of young farmers’ group Macra na Feirme, as the nomination process closes. Photograph: Macra na Feirme

Four running for presidency of young farmers’ group as nomination process closes

Phil Hogan: Considering the possibility of penalising farmers for farm-safety breaches by reducing their farm payments. Photograph: The Irish Times

Low interest loans for young farmers being considered by European Commission

Phil Hogan: said  suppliers are still not getting a fair price from supermarkets for their produce

Phil Hogan promises changes in legislation before end of the year

 New EU rules  allowing member states to ban or restrict the cultivation of genetically modified crops in their territory have been formally adopted by the European Council. File photograph: Larry Downing/Reuters

European Council adopts rules allowing member states to restrict GM cultivation

‘Farm Walk and Talk’ initiative has been organised by Agri Aware. Photograph: The Irish Times

Number of people studying agricultural science has increased in recent years

The HSE is carrying out a survey of gay and bisexual men in an attempt to reduce the high levels of HIV among men who have sex with men

Five years since similar research was conducted

Campylobacter causes acute gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and vomiting, and can be life-threatening in the very young and old. However, it can be killed by cooking the chicken thoroughly, until it reaches a core temperature of 75 degrees.

Three quarters of UK fresh chickens contaminated with bacterium campylobacter

Dog owners advised to check home insurance cover in case they are sued for damages

The Irish Dairy Board, whose portfolio includes Kerrygold, Dubliner and Pilgrim’s Choice, is now to be called Ornua

New name means ‘new gold’

Bus Éireann chief executive Martin Nolan said if the Government wanted smaller towns and villages on commercial routes to be serviced, it would have to pay a subsidy. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Planned cuts to Expressway routes described as ‘a further attack on rural Ireland’

Visualise the face of a farmer each time you buy a banana, says grower Stephen Best, from the West Indies: “This is a person who takes pride in his or her work, to generate the necessary income to sustain their livelihood and that of their families.”

Ireland eats fewer Fairtrade bananas than other EU states due to ‘lack of support from shops’

Winners for Best Production Design for The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration) at the 87th Oscars. Photograph: AFP.

Annie Atkins was part of team which won Oscar for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Danishes, croissants and doughnuts have all swelled as portions get bigger

Seán Sherlock: he said Ireland was a committed supporter of using agricultural development to lift people out of hunger and poverty

Research body has history of work in Africa

The IFA and Crimestoppers have launched a campaign to help prevent livestock theft. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

35 animals stolen since the beginning of this year

A Tesco fajita meal kit has been recalled because of the presence of almonds in the seasoning mix. File image: Getty.

Aldi also pulled similar product amid fears in UK that nuts being used instead of cumin to save money

Ardnakinna lighthouse on Bere Island, Co Cork: a report published more than a year ago on boosting island and coastal communities has been “gathering dust”. Photograph: Commissioners of Irish Lights

Islanders disappointed recommendations are not being implemented

Mairéad McGuinness: “Clear and accurate information is all that consumers want.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

IFA accused of targeting independent butchers with testing programme, but MEP Maireád McGuinness says it would be a tragedy if cus(...)

They don’t want to appear obsessed with calories while men eat more as sign of manhood

FSAI chief executive Alan Reilly: said food companies must have a threat assessment procedure in place to identify where the food supply chain could be vulnerable to fraud. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘About 50 times more manuka honey on the market than is produced’

The IFA  bought products such as back rashers, loin chops, back bacon and ham fillets in independent butcher shops and supermarkets in Wexford, Galway, Cork and Cavan.  Photograph: Getty Images

Farmers’ association to meet with butchers to emphasise need to stock Irish produce

Tests carried out for the IFA  found that 29 per cent of pigmeat products  did not have Irish DNA

Of the 26 non-Irish products, 25 were bought in independent butcher shops

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney: a spokeswoman for his department said the amendments made “were processed in full accordance with the regulatory and legislative process in place”. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Department defends move, saying money was still spent on environmental measures

Preparing roses for sale ahead of Valentine’s Day  in Bangkok, Thailand, on February 12th, 2015. Photograph: Narong Sangnak/EPA

Complaints over sites tend to spike around Valentine’s Day, European Consumer Centre says

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey  found that overall consumption of sugar, fizzy drinks, confectionery, chips, fried foods and meat  tended to be higher in Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK

Only 4% of children in North eat enough fruit and vegetables, says Food Standards Agency

Willie Penrose, Labour TD: “I’m scared of everybody heading for the hills and expanding like nobody’s business. You could have a confluence of factors coming that would actually eat up farmers’ incomes and leave them with virtually nothing.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Oireachtas committee members fear lending to farmers will resemble building boom loans

Ray Flemming from Wexford surveying a feeder made by Abbey Machinery during the FTMTA Show at Punchestown. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

From Inner Mongolia to Iceland: Sense of optimism prevails at the three-day show

Glanbia co-op chairman Liam Herlihy said the cop-op had assets of €1.7bn, so it was happy to support farmer members during challenging market conditions. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

More than 6,200 farmers to benefit from windfall following vote by co-op members

Mental and physical ill-health affecting many more farmers, says ICSA chief Patrick Kent

Michael Murphy of the Positive Farmers group said many farm families would have “serious cash flow difficulties” this year, particularly if the milk price did not recover. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Many farm families will have serious cash-flow problems this year

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney at the Baileys production facility on the Nangor Road, Dublin, to announce the partnership between Baileys and Enterprise Ireland. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

World famous cream liqueur brand is 40 years old this year

Announcement of  two investments was made by Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney (above) and Minister for Enterprise Richard Bruton. Photograph:  Sean Curtin

€35m investment in dairy innovation as sector prepares for post-quota scenario

Mahmoud Bazzi (centre), is suspected of murdering two Irish soldiers serving with the United Nations 34 years ago. Photograph: PA

Chief suspect in the 1980 murder of two Irish peacekeepers could be freed

Alan Kelly says no one would face penalties if they did not register by the deadline

Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett faces the prospect of a motion of no confidence moved by Fianna Fáil. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ceann Comhairle says Opposition entitled to question his decisions but he stands by ruling

The winner will replace outgoing president Kieran O’Dowd who made waves when he was elected  in 2013 because he was a barrister and not a farmer. This time, all four candidates are involved in farming

Michelle O’Callaghan is fourth woman to make pitch for role at young farmer’s group

James Nolan, who runs the butcher shop with his wife Emma, is the fourth generation to stand behind the counter in the family business that was established in 1886. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Champion of Champions award will be announced in the House of Lords on Wednesday

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