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

Tara Elliott is rearing crickets, mealworms and beetles and believes she could be Ireland’s first commercial insect farmer. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Tara Elliott has created insect cookies, pancakes, muffins and buns, breads and candy

Prof Noel Fitzpatrick says it’s possible to give animals new legs, feet, knees and shoulders but the moral and ethical implications must be considered. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Vets can feel pressurised by owners who want to prolong pets’ lives for as long as possible

Health and Safety Authority chief executive Martin O’Halloran said: “The days of feeding calves with a bucket and walking the cows home, they’re certainly in the historic annals of husbandry practice on farms.” File photograph:  Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Major change on farms in recent years contributing to risks, says HSA chief

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he will face down any demands that the agri-food sector should stall expansion because of environmental concerns.  Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times.

Minister sees Ireland being fastest-growing milk producer despite environment concerns

IFA president Eddie Downey  before Tuesday’s agm. “I know what it’s like to try and head up an organisation, having worked in it for 25 years.”  Photograph: Finbarr O’Rourke

New farm organisation set to be launched within weeks

Thousands of documents from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food were found on  Athenry Rd out of Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Andy Newman

Thousands of documents were strewn along a 10km section on the Athenry Road

Farms are  “a dangerous place. We need to go in and farm defensively, think defensively. We have to get a change in attitudes,” IFA president  Eddie Downey has said. “We cannot keep going on losing lives the way we are.” File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Farmers at agm told they must think about safety in everything they do

IFA president Eddie Downey has said that “farmers will not tolerate their high quality produce being devalued and their livelihoods being destroyed by supermarkets in pursuit of a quick buck.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Farmers told ‘we cannot keep losing lives’ in farm accidents as deaths highest since 1991

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney says similar benefits to those in Cork would be seen in many other rural communities. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

County could see 50% increase in milk, and value of output and exports could rise to €450m

Thousands of documents containing sensitive information and details relating to the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Environment Protection Scheme  were found scattered along a road near Tuam, Co Galway. Photograph: Andy Newman

Papers relate to Department of Agriculture Scheme and contain sensitive information

Last year was the worst year for farm deaths since 1991. Thirty people lost their lives in incidents which mainly involved machinery and animals

Personal testimonies on video might have an impact to make farms safer

A spokesman said the Health and Safety Authority  would welcome the opportunity to meet with the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture to discuss farm safety and its strategies for dealing with what was a serious issue.  Photographs: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Last year worst for farm deaths since 1991, with 30 dead

The first coddle cook-off is being planned for Dublin’s Temple Bar

Taste trail encouraging people to eat their way around Temple Bar

The milk quota regime ends on March 31st, meaning farmers can produce as much milk as they like. Ahead of this farmers have been increasing their milk supply. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Possible over-quota superlevy couldbe 10 times greater than last year’s fine

The average price paid for farmland across the State in 2014 was €10,526 per acre – an increase of 0.01 per cent on 2013 prices.

More than 16,800 acres changed hands in 2014

BPA,  a chemical   found in a range of plastic products, has been found to pose no health risk to consumers of any age.  Photograph: Getty Images

Food Safety Authority of Ireland welcomes discovery that BPA is safe for any age group

Lester Ryan, Kilkenny’s linchpin, is in mourning after the sudden death of his father, Johnny. Photograph: Cathal Noonan

Family ‘devastated’ after Kilkenny’s Johnny Ryan (60) pinned against wall by tractor

The priority of a soon-to-be-launched farming group is protecting farm incomes and the viability of the family farm, according to organisers. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Organisers say farmers feel existing farm groups are ‘stale’ and unrepresentative

Dr Alex Copland, senior conservation officer of BirdWatch Ireland, said birds such as greenfinches, linnets and yellowhammers were still found in nests in August. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

IFA claims longer period would improve road safety and reduce incidence of dumping

An organic potato is harvested. Organic farmers have been protesting outside Department of Agriculture offices in Athenry, Co Galway over delayed farm payments.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Department of Agriculture spokeswoman says internal dispute behind issue is resolved

 Whooper swans in north Wicklow in mid-January,  at thge  start of  the  five-yearly  all Ireland census  organised by BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Services. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Whooper swans continue to return but big drop in number of Bewick’s swans coming here

Milliner Alice Kelly  from Wexford at the ‘Enterprise Zone’ at Showcase in the RDS. The craft trade fair which runs until January 21st. Photograph: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

President Higgins receives hats, tweed and ceramics at opening of craft trade fair

Irish Dairy Board chairman Aaron Forde: said milk superlevy bill would be ‘potentially one of the highest ever imposed’. Photograph:  Kenneth O’Halloran/JCP.

Irish Dairy Board critical of EU for nothaving free trade agreement with China

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