Covid-19 (coronavirus) continues to take its toll on the calendar of agricultural events. The latest cancellations in Northern Ireland include the Newry and Lurgan shows. Killyleagh Show has been postponed.

Killyleagh Show (Co. Down) was due to take place on May 2; Lurgan Show (Co. Armagh) had been pencilled in for June 6; Newry Show was due to take place on June 27.

These are just the latest in a growing list of events that have either been postponed or cancelled in response to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Balmoral Show postponed

Yesterday (Monday, March 16), the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) announced the postponement of this year’s Balmoral Show.

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Record crowds of 120,000 reportedly attended the 2019 event. This year, it was due to take place on May 13-16 but, instead, will take place in August.

A spokesperson from the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society said: "The event will be postponed until Wednesday to Saturday, August 19-22, 2020.

We are currently in uncertain times following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the health of our stakeholders and visitors remains our key priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Grassland & Muck 2020 cancelled

Meanwhile, the UK-based Grassland & Muck event - due to take place on May 20-21 in England - has been cancelled.

In a statement the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) said: "The trustees met and agreed that if [the UK] Government advice indicated that gatherings should not take place, then the Grassland & Muck event would be cancelled.

"Therefore, in light of the Prime Minister's address, Grassland & Muck will not take place in 2020."

The statement continued: "While we are sorry to have to make this announcement to cancel, it is the right decision to protect the health of the industry and, indeed, the wider population."