Irish and UK heads of agriculture discuss Brexit
The long-awaited meeting between Michael Creed and his counterpart Micheal Gove has taken place in London.

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, met with his UK counterpart Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in London on Wednesday 13 June.

The potential impact of Brexit on agriculture was discussed, with Creed also attending the UK Food and Drinks Federation conference as the keynote speaker.

“This was a timely meeting in the context of the current debate in the UK on the direction of travel in the Brexit negotiations. I reiterated our concerns to Secretary of State Gove around the pace of the negotiations, especially on border issues,” Minister Creed said.

Brexit

With Brexit less than 10 months away, cross-border trade between the north and south of Ireland is becoming an increasing concern.

The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly published a report this week insisting that trade across the border must remain frictionless.

The report outlined that about 25% of milk produced and 40% of lambs raised in Northern Ireland (NI) are processed in the Republic. Similarly, around 25-30% of pigs processed in NI came from south of the border.

The Assembly stated that no current form of technology existed that could impose frictionless border checks.

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Nearly 300 agricultural science students hit top Leaving Cert marks
Nearly 8,000 students sat agricultural science in the Leaving Cert this year, with a third of students at higher level achieving 70% or greater.

Of the 6,543 students who sat higher-level agricultural science, 295 (4.5%) have achieved the highest possible grade of one, which has replaced an A1. Since 2017, Leaving Certificate students are graded from one to eight, with one equalling 90% to 100%, two equalling 80% to 90% and so on.

Results

In total, 57,149 students sat the Leaving Certificate, down 2.4% on the year before. Of this, 7,780 students sat agricultural science with nearly 80% of students opting to sit the higher level paper.

A grade of three was the most common result in the higher-level exam, with nearly 19% of candidates achieving this result. Over a third of students received a grade three or greater.

A grade of six was the most common at ordinary level, with 28% of students receiving this mark. It was closely followed by a grade five at 24%.

Appeals

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has said that this year’s results are broadly in line with those obtained in 2017. They have reminded all candidates that detailed information about viewing their scripts and appealing their results can be found in the 2018 candidate information booklet.

A helpline will be operating from early on 15 August to provide information and advice to students and parents. The helpline number operated by the National Parents’ Council is 1800 265 165

The farmer’s daily wrap: UK short on fodder too and calls for import scheme
Read all about the top five farming stories and check out the weather outlook for Wednesday 14 August.

Weather forecast

Tonight will be cloudy and misty, with rain and drizzle extending gradually to most areas, according to Met Éireann. It will be mild and humid, with hill and coastal fog.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be mostly cloudy in Munster and Leinster, with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle. Drier conditions will develop in much of Connacht and Ulster, with a few bright spells for a time. Outbreaks of showery rain will develop in the west and northwest later. Maximum temperatures will range from 17°C to 22°C.

In the news

  • UK breeders say that fodder shortages are also a major concern for them.
  • Fianna Fáil has called for the a fodder import subsidy to be up and running immediately.
  • The first shipment of Northern Irish beef has landed in the Philippines.
  • Kerry has set the price for its forward milk price scheme.
  • Calls have been made for signs warning motorists to watch out for cyclists to be placed on rural roads.
  • Coming up this Wednesday

  • See the latest Tullamore Farm update.