Fane Valley acquires Silver Hill Foods
The acquisition has been called a ‘good news story’ by Irish duck producer Silver Hill Foods.

The Northern Irish agri food business Fane Valley has acquired Silver Hill Foods.

The acquisition has been welcomed by the Steele family who set-up the Monaghan-based duck farm business in 1962.

“This is a good news story for our employees first and foremost, for Emyvale and for all our growers, suppliers and customers, especially with Brexit causing uncertainty in this region,” Stuart Steele of Silver Hill said.

Increased output from 36,000 ducks per week to 82,500 ducks per week

“Fane Valley has been our long-term feed nutrition partner for over two decades, so this was a very natural fit for both companies.”

The current management team of Silver Hill will remain in place and be joined by new directors on the board from Fane Valley.

The company reportedly had several interested buyers from overseas and up to 70% of their business is export led, but Silver Hill Farm stated that they had chosen Fane Valley as they shared the same values as Silver Hill.

With 240 employees, Silver Hill also wanted to prioritise keeping jobs in Emyvale, Co Monaghan.

Last year, the company confirmed that they had increased output from 36,000 ducks per week to 82,500 ducks per week and completed a centre of excellence in 2016.

Fane Valley

Fane Valley said that they were committed to future investment in production facilities at the Emyvale site.

They said they wanted to see Silver Hill meet the growing demand from Asian markets.

“We have been impressed by the development and performance of the Silver Hill Foods business over many years and we look forward to working with the Silver Hill team as we seek to realise the undoubted opportunities for their unique range of high-quality duck products in the global marketplace,” Fane Valley Group chief executive Trevor Lockhart said.

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The farmer's daily wrap: farm fatality, African swine fever and bees
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Saturday 24 May.

Weather forecast

Met Éireann has said that it will be rather cloudy at first on Saturday, with patches of light rain or drizzle, mainly affecting the western half of the country.

Cloud is forecast to start to break later in the morning, with spells of sunshine for the afternoon and evening.

However, Atlantic coastal areas will remain quite dull and damp.

It looks set to be a humid day, with top temperatures ranging from 16°C to 20°C in light to moderate southwesterly breezes.

In the news

  • There is a mixed bag of weather ahead for the weekend, with showers, sunshine and highs of 20°C.
  • Minister warning to holiday-makers over African swine fever: “Don’t bring back your sandwich; don’t bring back your salami.”
  • A man in his 60s has died following an accident on a farm in Aughnacliffe, Co Longford.
  • Just 207t of skimmed milk powder (SMP) remains in the EU’s intervention measure.
  • And Irish citizens are being asked to report sightings of bees in a nationwide online survey.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • Free trailer marking against theft.
  • The latest from Newford Farm.
    Three-man race for ICSA president
    The Irish Cattle and Sheep Association (ICSA) will elect a new president in June.

    Three candidates are in the running to become the next president of the ICSA following the close of nominations on Friday evening.

    In alphabetical order, these candidates are as follows:

  • Hugh Farrell, Cavan.
  • Dermot Kelleher, Cork west.
  • Edmond Phelan, Waterford.
  • The election will take place in Portlaoise on the evening of Thursday 27 June.

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    Family-owned feedlots entitled to compensation – ICSA

    Brexit beef compensation: what farmer groups want

    Watch: vegetable growers turn on the irrigation systems
    O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming have both turned on the irrigation pumps this week.

    In order to combat dry conditions, O’Shea Farms and Hughes Farming were irrigating crops this week.

    Julian Hughes says he has never irrigated as early as May before and that he has two reels out at the moment, but will be putting another two out next week if there is no rain in the meantime.

    “We have a 30mm soil moisture deficit,” he said.

    “The fear of a repeat of 2018 is palpable in the yard at home, there’s dust everywhere.”

    In a normal year, he said that he would irrigate the crops in July and August.

    But so far he has put 30mm on parsnips and followed up five days later with another 30mm.

    “You could ask are we selecting higher-yielding varieties that need more inputs. But I’m using the same variety with the last 20 years.

    "It’s just very dry. We need 50mm over three days to get things balanced up.”

    Agronomist with O’Shea farms Tom Murray said that it would be normal for them to be irrigating at this time of year. They grow carrots in Piltown and Carrick-on-Suir.

    “We’re putting on 12mm to 15mm, not any more than that. We don’t want to wash away any pre-emergence spray,” Tom said.

    “There has been years before when we needed to irrigate to encourage germination. But the soil is starting to dry out and we want to be ahead of it.”

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    Fields drying up as some farmers wait for rain

    Flood risk farmers urged to make submissions

    Crops remain in good condition but have become more variable