Teagasc reports losses of €11m for last year

TEAGASC, the agriculture and food development authority, made a loss of just under €11 million in 2009.

That compares with a deficit of just over €12m the previous year.

When cash balances of over €18.9m at the beginning of the year are included, the agency ended up with a surplus of €7.9m in the year to December 31, 2009.

State funding for the group fell by about €3m over the period, from €148.9m to €145.9m, while the income earned by the group from the range of services provided to farmers declined from €32.1m to €29.5m, reflecting the difficult trading environment endured by the sector for most of last year.

The accounts for 2009 also reveal that the group paid out €43m in pension payments to 1,482 former employees giving an average pension of about €30,000 per worker for the year.

Launching the annual report Teagasc boss Gerry Boyle, said the outlook for the sector has improved dramatically.

Teagasc said the move towards the end of milk quotas would present exciting opportunities for farmers and it expects numbers engaged in dairying to increase.

The group has set up a “greenfield dairy” project to demonstrate the workings of a dairy farm to those thinking about getting involved, Mr Boyle said

He warned the “moratorium” on recruitment was putting pressure on existing staff to increase their productivity considerably.

While reductions in staff were necessary he called for “flexibility” when replacing key researchers.


I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner