Irish Farmers Journal breakfast bulletin: Creed to visit Turkey and hen harriers
In the news today, Wednesday 24 January: dry weather in Argentina caused soya bean prices to rise, Minister Creed is to visit Turkey and hen harrier programme popular.

Weather forecast

According to Met Éireann, overnight winds will die down this morning and it will be a bright day with blustery showers. Some of the showers will turn heavy with a risk of hail and thunder. Afternoon temperatures will reach between 7°C and 8°C in strong and gusty west to southwest winds.

In the news

  • The Minister for Agriculture is to visit Turkey next week to meet the Turkish agricultural minister to promote the quality and health of Irish cattle.
  • Co Fermanagh beef and sheep farmer John Egerton has won the UGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition.
  • Forecasts for extended periods of dry weather in Argentina caused soya bean prices to riseover the last week.
  • Over 900 farmers have applied to take part in the new hen harrier programme according to the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed.
  • Coming up on

  • The dairy industry presents its plan to address greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Listen to Irish farmers from Kerry to Brussels our weekly podcast.
  • What’s on today

  • Teagasc Calf Care event.
  • Longford IFA county executive meeting.
  • To find out more about events near you, visit our agri-events calendar

    This week in photos: milking and the harvest continues
    Our top photos from the last week include farming in Limerick, Tipperary and Wexford.

    This week's front cover: milking in Co Limerick

    Eoin Carroll from Ballyvolane, Co Limerick milking cows on the farm of John McNamara in Gormanstown, Co Limrick. Eoin is currently completing the work experience element of his Leaving Cert agricultural sciene project on John's farm. He is working part time on the farm and gaining experience in areas including grassland management, herd health and milking. \ Philip Doyle

    Loading cattle in Co Limerick

    Paddy Leahy from Kilmallock, Co Limerick transferring his Angus cattle to a trailer, having sold them to Foyle Meats in Donegal. Paddy says its crazy that he has to sell to a factory in Donegal but they are giving him the best price at the moment. Paddy farms Angus, Hereford and continentals. For the last few weeks he has fed them silage and 8kg of meal a day. He says it is a relief to get rid of them due to the drought conditions and the additional costs that that has brought. \ Philip Doyle

    My farming week in Co Tipperary

    Michael Condon from Newcastle, Co Tipperary delivers zero-grazed grass from Jim O'Leary's farm for feeding. Michael farms with his father and uncle in south Tipperary. The mixed farm is mainly in corn but also rears calves from neighbouring farms. \ Donal O'Leary

    Harvesting in Co Wexford

    Lester Rothwell harvesting Infinity winter barley in Lacken, Co Wexford. The crop was sown in the first week of October. Lester harvested a separate field of Infinity barley the previous day and got a yield of 3.3t/acre, but was confident that this crop will perform better. \ Philip Doyle

    Harvesting in Co Dublin

    The Fitzgerald family harvesting in Newpark, north Co Dublin. Cousins James and John are cutting Tower winter barley, along with James' sons Finn and Jack. The crop's moisture is 18.5% with a bushel weight of 67KPH. \ Philip Doyle

    Read more

    This week in photos: New Ross and Newport Marts

    Around the country in pictures

    This week in photos: Loughrea Mart and winter barley harvesting

    Prime Minister visits but no new thinking
    Stalemate continues in EU-UK negotitions on Brexit with positions restated in Brussels and Belfast on the occasion of PM visit

    The UK Prime Minister spent Thursday and Friday in Northern Ireland and included a visit to the border in Belleek, Co Fermanagh. At the same time, the EU was publishing its advice and outlining specifically what would happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which was of little comfort to Irish agriculture either side of the border.

    Restating positions

    The PM’s keynote speech of her visit was delivered in Belfast on Friday and it bluntly rejected the notion that the backstop agreement of Northern Ireland (NI) retaining access to the EU services would not be accepted by the UK government if it applied to NI alone, effectively creating a border in the Irish sea.

    At the same time, the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier was giving his first formal response to the UK white paper on Brexit, submitted a week earlier.

    While the tone of his delivery was courteous and conciliatory, there was no doubt left that even as it was presented then, it was not going to fly in Brussels as it was looking for de facto membership of the single market for industrial goods and agricultural produce but not accepting the four principles of the single market.

    The chief negotiator did, however, acknowledge that it was the basis for negotiation and he committed as did the new Brexit secretary in the UK government, Dominic Raab, to an intensive negotiation continuing over the summer.

    No solution for farmers or business

    Where does this leave farmers on the island of Ireland? A quick glance at the 16-page EU document published on Friday suggests that they, like all other sections of society, will be in a very difficult place, with the trading normality that is currently enjoyed, shattered.

    As well as the tariff issue, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) rules will be enforced on any trade from the UK to the EU, which will involve physical inspections. This is in addition to the tariff issue that has been frequently covered by the Irish Farmers Journal.

    As the positions stand, redefined by the UK and EU at the end of this week, it is impossible to see the basis for common ground develop.

    One side or the other will have to back away from red lines that they have drawn. The only possibility is that every negotiation needs stalemate, walkouts and lots of brinkmanship. The consequences of a no-deal Brexit were set out by the International Monetary Fund earlier in the week and unsurprisingly there are no winners, only losers. And Ireland would be the biggest loser of all.