‘Forestry is the biggest threat to rural life here

  • ‘Forestry is the biggest threat to rural life here
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    The government “better to do with their skates on” and come up with a workable feed plan if they want the farmers throughout the country have enough food for his flock come winter, warns Shane McHugh, 29-year-old, who farms with his father Gerard in Fenagh, County Leitrim.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/dairy/dairy-farm-profiles/forestry-is-the-biggest-threat-to-rural-life-here-37190556.html
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/article37190554.ece/c39d5/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-08-07_bus_43012219_I1.JPG

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The government “better to do with their skates on” and come up with a workable feed plan if they want the farmers throughout the country have enough food for his flock come winter, warns Shane McHugh, 29-year-old, who farms with his father Gerard in Fenagh, County Leitrim.

Although not badly damaged from the summer heat in your home in Knockmullen, Shane saw the harsh consequences of the warm weather as he travels in the South and South-East in its non-agricultural work as fodder for the development of the employee and the classifier for Irish Holstein-Friesian society.

“All the victims of the heat this year, but farmers are badly affected in these regions and the government should be in the emergency feed this winter. We are lucky here in Leitrim still can make a third cut on the home farm, but certainly there will be problems of fodder production while the heat passes,” says Shane.

In ‘Holstein Knockmullen’, in the 60-strong herd running more than 100 private and leased hectares, an average of 7,200 litres of milk with fats at 3.87 PC and protein 3.36 PC, and farm supplies in Lakeland.

Asked if he is happy with the current cooperative price of milk, he replied: “the price is good. It’s as good as you’re going to get from the co-operative at the moment.”

Shane farmer McHugh of three siblings, with brother Diarmuid (27) work with local timber companies and the sister of Sean (23) enrolled in child care.


Shane McHugh with dad Gerard and mother Rosanna

He graduated in dairy management from Heath College Reese in Cheshire a few years ago and building a house on the farm with his father, and both, in turn, are controlled by Rosanna, the mom of the house.

Weather aside, his main concern at the moment is the imminent arrival of his new baby with his partner Imelda – optical assistant working in Carrick-on-Shannon. New arrival for his or her bow in a few weeks.

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Farmers can bear my expense to feed grew by €10,000 per month’

Bill farmer feed increased by 10 000 euros per month compared to the same period last year due to the drought.

Shane is very matter of fact about all things agricultural not included least flooding Leitrim areas with forest management, especially useless some are spruce.

“The biggest threat not only to agriculture but also to rural life in County Leitrim at the moment is forestry and fir. There is simply a blanket of green where once there was sunshine, if the Minister [Michael] creed and his colleague Andrew Doyle do in the near future to encourage alternatives to Sitka spruce.

“Native hardwoods will be an option as more attractive tax breaks and incentives for landowners, if they lease the land to active farmers,” adds Shane.

“And until they solve the problem of Sitka spruce, Ministers might look in practice using our supermarket of agricultural products as loss leaders in their product portfolios.

“They have to contact the retailers to curb this trend, dairy and meat products used as loss leaders. As usual, farmers must pick up the tab,” he said.

Shane young farmer on a mission and he wanted to shake up the big chair in the farmhouse on various issues of agri, not least flipping the benefits of the scheme as the voice for sustainable agriculture and not unsustainable agriculture. From the farm, the main interest Shane set-dancing – a skill he demonstrated at various fleadhs and events scoir over the last few years and a skill that will be watching when his new Imelda baby just arriving.

In conversation with Ken Whelan

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