ETTG: A calf winch, oyster farming and growing grain


Why farmers make good inventors; oyster farm row and fields of gold - all on tonight’s programme.

ETTG: A calf winch, oyster farming and growing grain

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  • 12 mths ago

Why farmers make good inventors; oyster farm row and fields of gold - all on tonight’s programme.

On this week’s episode of Ear to the Ground, the programme visits a working oyster farm in Donegal Town; a Kildare-based grain grower and a farmer who has developed a calf winch, with a view to saving calves and foals next spring.

SHORE WARS

Plans for a large-scale oyster farm on the Wild Atlantic Way in Donegal have sparked heated opposition from local farmers; horse breeders and hospitality businesses. Ardara in Co. Donegal - a heritage town on the scenic West Coast, is the site of a proposed aquaculture development.

Ella McSweeney visits a working oyster farm in Summerhill, Donegal Town to hear how brothers Conor and Damien Reid grow the valuable shellfish for export to France and the Far East. They applied for a license to farm in 2009, and it is just now being considered by the Department of Agriculture; however, locals are determined to resist the farm, convinced that the natural amenity of the strand will be spoiled.

FIELDS of GOLD

After several years of poor prices and poor yields, things were different this year for Kildare grain grower Olwyn Owens. The fine weather helped her save a high-quality grain crop, and with yields down across Europe, prices for both grain and straw were boosted this year. ETTG also meets Teagasc crop specialist - Michael Hennessy, who gives his take on the grain market going forward.

Helen Carroll meets Olwyn and her father Liam on the farm in Athy as the combines roll through fields of gold.

BACK LIFT

Over 28% of farmers have lower back pain and, after spinal surgery, Galway suckler farmer Gerry Daly found he was unable to lift a newborn calf to revive him. The valuable calf died, and Gerry began to think how he could have saved him with a simple winch.

Six prototypes later, and with help from fellow Galway farmer and entrepreneur John Concannon, Gerry is ready to go to market with his calf winch and save calves and foals next spring.

Darragh McCullough visits the farm in Killimor, Co Galway and discovers why farmers make good inventors.

Ear to the Ground - Produced by indiepics for RTÉ - broadcasts on RTÉ One, Thursdays at 8.30pm, followed by the repeat at 13.10pm Sunday.

Image source: TVPR.

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