Boortmalt proposal ‘makes a mockery of Irish grain’ – IGGG
The Irish Grain Growers Group has criticised the IFA-Boortmalt negotiations on a malting barley deal for 2019.

The Boortmalt deal presented to farmers “simply makes a mockery of Irish grain”, Irish Grain Growers Group has said.

“Irish grain can stand up on its own to two feet, we do not need to compare it to a MATIFF or FOB Creil price,” according to a statement from the group.

“Irish grain used for the brewing and distilling industry has a unique provenance, GMO-free, glyphosate-free, fully traceable and the highest-quality grain in the world. When did Guinness/Diageo use foreign barley from the likes of Hungary or France to promote their beers? Never.

"To compare Irish barley with what we believe Boortmalt imported this year is like comparing a full Irish breakfast with a French croissant, yet they had to pay substantially more for the French croissant.”

Sustainable

IGGG said that if Irish tillage farmers are to be economically sustainable they must get:

  • An increase in the Cassia contract grain prices of at least €20/t.
  • A minimum of €70/t over Irish feed barley prices for brewing barley.
  • A minimum of €100/t over Irish feed barley prices for distilling grade barley.
  • The Irish grain growers question the ability of the IFA leaders to confront Boortmalt fully on the issues of difference. They say the IFA is negotiating “with their hands tied behind their backs”.

    To compare Irish barley with what we believe Boortmalt imported this year is like comparing a full Irish breakfast with a French croissant

    “What is in the original memorandum of agreement and what is contained in the code of conduct that IFA agreed to on behalf of growers?” IGGG asks.

    Booming

    “Why are IFA suggesting that they head to Guinness to demonstrate rather than the gates of Boortmalt whom IFA deal with directly? Growers need answers as to why IFA are so limp when farmers see the distilling industry booming in front of their eyes.

    "Boortmalt and IFA are coming with the same routine every year – drag the negotiating out until farmers start sowing then it's game over for another year."

    Read more

    Boortmalt and growers at an impasse

    'Everything was falling apart' - farmers dealing with depression
    The Macra event is being aimed at young people to encourage them to talk about their mental health.

    Young farmers were urged at a Macra event to open up about their feelings and take care of their mental health.

    The event was part of a series of talks organised by Jonathan Dwyer and John Keane, two north Tipperary Macra na Feirme members in conjunction with Healthy Ireland as part of an initiative called “Make a Moove”, aimed at helping young men in rural areas discuss mental health issues.

    Addressing a crowd of 40 young people at Rackett Hall in Roscrea, Bill, shared his story with the crowd.

    “I grew up in a dairy farm just outside Nenagh, there was nothing in me that would have ever shouted that I’d have any problems.

    “One of the happiest days I ever had was when I got accepted in veterinary college in Budapest when I was 18.

    Everything was falling apart in my own mind

    “Unfortunately it was pretty soon after that that things started to derail for me. I moved to Hungary at 18 and I can’t explain it but the fun seemed to drip out of everything.

    “Inwardly for seven years I was crumbling inside. Everything was falling apart in my own mind”

    “I came back from Budapest and went to New Zealand for a while, I had a great time but still I wasn’t right.

    “I went back helping on the farm, one day my father and I had very strong words and my mother took him away to cool down.

    “When they left I walked out and went to Dublin.

    “I didn’t realise that when my parents came back they thought the worst and apparently my father walked the farm looking for me because he thought that I’d done something.

    “But I was in a very dark place for three months, I actually remember standing in CopperFace Jacks with no phone but internet connection where I was looking at places to check myself in.”

    He told the group that it was soon after that he tried to take his own life.

    “One after the other I took the painkillers and drank the bottle of whiskey and got into bed for what I hoped was the last time.

    “The worst feeling I actually had was the day after when I woke up, that I’d even managed to fail to do this.

    “I spent a couple more days lying in bed and trying to build up the energy to get up. I was thinking about a motorway that was nearby and jumping off it

    “Thankfully the guys I was living with somehow got in contact with my parents.”

    Going home

    His mother and brother came to collect him from the house and brought him home.

    Bill said that when he seriously thought about why he was depressed he linked it to alcohol, even the attempt he made on his own life had been after a three-day drinking session with friends.

    After two years of therapy and working on himself he says he’s learned how to really live at life.

    “With hindsight, the pain the drink had caused me was phenomenal,” Bill said.

    “It wasn’t easy but the day I stopped drinking was the day my life changed.”

    The next talk will be held on Thursday 25 April in the Anner Hotel, Thurles at 7.30pm.

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    Check out all the latest news from the day and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather.

    Weather forecast

    Thursday will be a dry evening, with hazy sunshine. It will be dry tonight, with clear spells.

    Met Éireann predicts that Friday will be another dry day, but some cloud will develop later in the day in the west of the country.

    Top temperatures between 16°C and 21°C.

    In the news

  • The Health and Safety Authority will begin an intensive farm safety inspection campaign on Tuesday 23 April, with a particular focus on machinery.
  • The next few days will be crucial, after Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed called for a package of support from the European Commission for Irish beef farmers following €100m of Brexit-related losses.
  • The board of Carbery has set its milk price for supplies during the month of March.
  • The Government is considering drastic measures to tackle ammonia pollution.
  • There was a call to end delays and to change legislation immediately at the IFA Fair Deal protest.
    Graphic images: lamb pecked to death by crows
    A farmer has lamented the loss of a young lamb after crows attacked his flock.

    Ronan Delaney, a beef and sheep farmer in Co Meath, has warned other farmers to take care after finding one lamb with its eyes and tongue pecked out by crows while being born.

    The farmer said the lamb was attacked as it was being born.

    Delaney discovered the lamb on Wednesday 17 April and later on that day found a sheep with one of her eyes pecked out after she became stuck in a field.

    Ronan Delaney said the ewe was still sore after losing her eye when she was attacked by crows.

    Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, he said that crow attacks on sheep are a common occurrence every year, but it was sickening to see the devastation they wrought.

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