Problems on the farm
Rural business premises are being increasingly targeted by thieves, although break-ins at business premises located throughout Ireland have fallen, according to data from one of the country's largest security monitoring companies.
Carlow-based Netwatch reported a 27pc decrease in the number of criminal incidents at over 2,200 premises during the first half of 2012.
However, sites based in Louth and Tipperary experienced the biggest increases in the number of incidents, with attempted break-ins up by an average of 150pc in both cases.
Their records show that criminal activity tends to peak during early evening, with 35pc of incidents occurring between 5-10pm.
The figures also showed that, for the second year in a row, the highest number of incidents were recorded in April, totalling 514.
The lowest number took place in January, with 217 incidents.
June was the only month to record a year-on-year increase in criminal activity.
Weekends remain the most active time for crime with 44pc of all incidents occurring on a Saturday and Sunday.
Niall Kelly, of Netwatch, said that the June increase might indicate that criminals were trying to capitalise on the summer holiday period.
"Although overall incidents are down we have seen a noticeable increase in incidents recorded at rural locations.
This would suggest that criminals are targeting more isolated and remote properties where they feel they are less likely to be detected and disturbed," he said.
Poor weather conditions to drive food price rises for consumers
It is only a matter of time before adverse weather conditions here and in other parts of the world will drive up the cost of food for consumers, according to one of the country's largest poultry processors.
Vincent Carton, managing director of Carton Brothers, claimed there was no relief in sight from surging grain prices that had created a 38pc increase in the price of soya and 21pc in wheat over the past six months.
"We have already absorbed increases in costs for gas, electricity and others.
However, these weather-induced increases are now much too high for us to take on and we are forced to pass them on.
We will, in consultation with retailers, make every effort to keep the increases to a minimum," said Mr Carton.
Teagasc unveils plans for major development at Ashtown centre
AS part of the ongoing restructuring programme at Teagasc, more properties are being off-loaded, while remaining premises are being developed.
The Bagenalstown offices were brought to market in the last week by auctioneer Seamus Somers.
However, the closure of Dublin's Kinsealy centre has led to an overspill of staff into the Ashtown and Botanic Gardens offices.
As a result, the State research agency has applied for planning permission to build a staff canteen, lecture hall, offices, mushroom tunnels, glasshouses and polytunnels at the Ashtown site.