In pictures: final preparations for Balmoral Show 2019
Exhibitors were getting the final preparations in place on Tuesday afternoon for this year's Balmoral Show.

Rosie Baxter from Castlewellan, Co Down, with her daughter Ashley and husband Kenny getting their animals ready for Balmoral Show. \ Houston Green.

Johnny and David Hazelton from Dungannon, along with Phyllis and Nigel Glasgow from Cookstown, Co Tyrone, getting ready for Balmoral Show.\ Houston Green.

Putting the finishing touches to their craft stall at Balmoral Show are sisters Danielle and Lisa Poag from Moy. \ Houston Green.

Declan O'Donaghue from Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, with his Erne Larder Irish Bacon Jam, at Balmoral Show. \ Houston Green.

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Livestock exhibitors unhappy with RUAS
Some pedigree breeders have complained about the arrangements for exhibiting livestock at Balmoral Show.

Several pedigree livestock breeders exhibiting at last week’s Balmoral Show have expressed their frustration with the event’s organisers, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS). The main issues relate to the number of livestock permitted at the show, as well as the entry cost.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, a number of breeders alleged that the RUAS backtracked on the number of cattle that could be entered at Balmoral. Up to 11 animals per exhibitor were initially agreed, but breeders said that they were informed two weeks prior to the show that only six animals would be allowed in. It is understood that this decision was Brexit related – initially it was thought that ROI cattle would not be at the show.

But according to breeders, this left them out of pocket due to the costs of feeding and preparing cattle for Balmoral.

In addition, there is the cost of entering a team of animals, parking for vehicles and trailers, and paying entry fees for staff involved in showing animals, which has left some questioning whether they will be back in future years.

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Lakeland wants Red Tractor milk
NI's largest milk processor, Lakeland Dairies, has informed suppliers that they will be required to become Red Tractor assured.

Dairy farmers supplying Lakeland Dairies will be required to register with the Red Tractor quality assurance scheme by the end of the year, or incur a 0.5p/l penalty on milk price from 1 January 2020 on non-Red Tractor milk.

In a letter sent to suppliers this week, the co-op set out the timeframe for achieving accreditation.

It comes as no surprise, given that Red Tractor assurance is now a requirement for many key customers based in the UK.

The merger with LacPatrick also brought with it an established Red Tractor-assured milk pool, plus retail customers who demand it as standard.

Lakeland has over 700 suppliers based in NI. To assist farmers in preparations for an audit, a team of staff has been assigned to help get suppliers accredited before the year end.

It will be the last processor of NI milk to move to Red Tractor. Dale Farm, Glanbia Cheese and Strathroy have all, bar a handful, suppliers meeting Red Tractor standards.

Meanwhile, Aurivo indicates that around 80% of its NI milk is in the scheme.

Glanbia Milk has also requested that suppliers go down the Red Tractor route within the past year, as this puts its NI milk pool on a par with the Bord Bia quality assurance scheme in the Republic of Ireland.

Glanbia Cheese

Meanwhile, Glanbia Cheese is understood to have informed the small cohort of suppliers that have yet to meet Red Tractor standards that they face a 2p/l penalty on all milk collected from July.

It is understood that this applies to around 12 suppliers, most of which have had an on-farm audit, but have yet to follow up on non-conformance issues.

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Glanbia Cheese tops 1m-litre league
Glanbia Cheese is top thanks to volume and mozzarella bonus payments.

Having finished second in the 650,000l league table for April, Glanbia Cheese has gone one better by topping the monthly league tables for 1m-litre producers of both good and average-quality milk (see Table B).

The table shows the prices paid for milk produced at three different qualities, outlined in Table 1, and assumes alternate day milk collection.

On good-quality milk, prices averaged 27.8p/l across all processors. Glanbia Cheese paid 28.1p/l to claim first spot, an increase of two places on the previous month.

Key to that is the 0.4p/l mozzarella bonus, on top of normal milk quality payments and the 0.65p/l volume bonus.

Aurivo finished in second place for good-quality milk. Strathroy narrowly edged out Dale Farm for third place, with Lakeland holding fifth place for the second month in a row.

Average quality

On average-quality milk, prices averaged 26.75p/l across all processors, down 0.1p/l on the previous month.

Glanbia Cheese finished first on 27.21p/l, thanks to its volume and mozzarella bonus payments. Strathroy overtook Aurivo for second place.

Dale Farm remains in fourth place, with Glanbia Milk/Fivemiletown next, just ahead of Lakeland.

Rolling average

For the 12-month period ending April 2019, Dale Farm continues to pay the highest milk price across the three different qualities.

On good-quality milk, prices averaged 29.52p/l, down by 0.08p/l on the previous milk league. Dale Farm was the only processor to pay above 30p/l, with an alternate day price of 30.06p/l.

Lakeland Dairies is second on 29.77p/l, with Aurivo in third place on 29.63p/l.

On average-quality milk, the 12-month prices across all processors averaged 28.32p/l. Dale Farm holds onto first place, with Glanbia Cheese in second position.

Aurivo retains third place, with Lakeland in fourth – given that its 1p/l hygiene bonus does not apply on average-quality milk.

Glanbia Milk/Fivemiletown and Strathroy round out the table, a position previously occupied by LacPatrick, which is no longer included in our analysis.

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