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This article appeared in the Finn Valley Voice and the Tirconaill Tribune on the 30th of July 2013 2013 Interim Nitrogen and Phosphorus Statements.   The Department of Agriculture, food and the Marine today commenced notifying farmers of their cattle numbers that they have held on farm for the first six months of this year. This is being by text message to those farmers that have signed up for this facility on the department website. Farmers receiving the text messages are those farmers whom the Department feel will breach the limits set down by the Nitrates regulations. The N and P figures for the first 6 months are available online to all farmers that have signed up to the online facility or if their advisor has access as their agent then they can gain access to this information for their clients. This is a useful tool for intensive farmers as it lets you see if you are going to keep the same stocking levels until the end of the year will you breach the limits and if you feel you will it will give you time to act.   There are a number of options available to a farmer in this situation.
  • Reduce stock numbers by selling stock that can be sold
  • Exporting slurry to another farmer making sure that they can take the slurry according to their stocking rate.
  • Rent more land
  • B and B cattle into another farmer
  If there are any farmers that haven’t signed up for the text alert they should do so immediately by going on to the department website. Its free and there will be more text alerts throughout the year.     STAP farmers – Task 3- Faecal test Any STAP farmers that have opted for task number 3 as one of their two options should get their faecal egg testing done now. There is a list of approved labs that can accept the samples and if you ring them up they will send you out the kit. If you contact your group organizer they will also have the kits or if not they will be fit you get them for you from the labs. There are two tests to be carried out a pre and a post drenching. The two test will cost on average of €30 euro in total not including postage. The procedure is simple and straight forward and every farmer should follow these steps to ensure an accurate test.   STEP 1
  1. Place lambs(minimum of 15) in a clean pen. Leave them undisturbed for a couple of hours. Remove lambs from pen.
  2. Using gloves collect fresh faecal samples at random from at least 10 different deposits and place them in the separate containers provided.
  3. Place the containers in the plastic zip lock bag provided
  4. Complete the form STAP 3A and put in envelope along with plastic zip lock bag
  5. Post as soon as possible
  STEP 2  
  1. Choose a dose that you wish to use
  2. Dose according to manufacturer’s recommendations
  3. Dose all lambs according to the heaviest lamb in the group
  4. Record the name of the product you use and the anthelmintic class it belongs to.
  STEP 3  
  1. 7 to 14 days post drench depending on the product used gather the lambs for faecal testing
  2. Place the same group of lambs in a clean pen. Leave them undisturbed for a couple of hours. Remove from pen
  3. Carry out the same procedure as in step 1 above.
  The lab will process your tests and will post you out the results. You should contact your group facilitator to discuss your results and what they mean to you.   LIVE SHIPPING OF LAMBS Live shipping of lambs for the Libya market are still going on. If you are interested in getting lambs away and to find out exactly what type of a lamb they are now looking for and the price on offer contact, Donegal Livestock mart, Harold Wilson or Bonagee Mart for more details.   Check out our website and sign up today for our free newsletter keeping you up to date. www.agriculturalconsultant.net

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