Irish Farmers Journal breakfast bulletin: women in business and broken weather
In the news today, Friday 10 November: women in agriculture meet, a broken weekend of weather and where will the fodder come from.

Weather forecast

Friday will start bright for most places with just a few well-scattered showers. However, it will turn for the worse as we progress through the day according to Met Éireann.

Cloud will increase from around midday and with that cloud will come rain from the southwest in the afternoon and evening.

Temperatures will range from 9°C to 12°C.

The rain on Friday night will become quite heavy and more persistent but it will clear to the southeast as we progress into Saturday morning.

We’ll have more on the weekend weather later today.

In the news

  • According to a new hard-hitting report carried out by the ICSA, half of crimes against farmers are never reported.
  • Analysis by the Irish Farmers Journal reveals that a very large volume of steers being presented for slaughter are grading O- or less with the factories concerned about the plain quality of cattle.
  • The west’s awake. Aurivo came out top of the pile in the latest milk league paying its suppliers more than any other co-op.
  • Fears that farmers in the west and northwest will run out of fodder before the cattle leave the shed next year is growing. We talk to more farmers in a difficult scenario.
  • And finally, is it a Zebo or a Zebu? We take a look at some of the more unusual cattle breeds registered in Ireland this year.
  • Coming up on

  • We have what your weekend weather will look like.
  • The Minister for Agriculture and Mick Wallace TD are unlikely to be exchanging Christmas cards after a Dáil exchange.
  • Farmers along the border are fearing a surge in cattle rustling again. We speak to some farmers.
  • Could farmers in Northern Ireland be hit with an MOT-style test for their tractor?
  • What’s on today

  • Just one event on the calendar today but it is an important one. The Ceres network of women in agriculture inaugural conference is on in the Convention Centre in Dublin from 9.30am to 1pm. The Irish Farmers Journal will be reporting live throughout the day from there.
  • To find out more about events near you, visit our agri-events calendar.

    'Strong demand' for milk lorry and feed delivery haulage course
    17 October was the deadline for applications for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme.

    Dairygold has reported strong demand for the Dairygold/ CETB Driver Training Programme, which aims to address the shortage of qualified drivers across the haulage sector in Ireland.

    Applications are currently being processed and Dairygold is confident that it will fill the maximum allocation of 20 places for the first professional driver training programme.

    The course is due to commence at the end of November and will involve a 15-week training programme, which will be based in Mallow.

    “Successful applicants will be allocated to Dairygold’s hauliers across all transport lanes, eg milk collection and feed deliveries.

    “The demand and interest in the driver training programme was strong and very positive. A decision on further training programmes will be made in due course,” a spokesperson for Dairygold told the Irish Farmers Journal.

    As the dairy industry continues to expand, there is an ever-growing need for skilled and qualified drivers to support the logistics of milk collection and feed delivery, Billy Cronin, head of supply chain at Dairygold, said when the course was announced a number of weeks ago.

    Read more

    New haulage course for milk lorry and feed delivery drivers

    Over 400 farmers travel to fourth tyre recycling centre
    The fourth tyre recycling centre was at Gortdrum Mines in Monard, Co Tipperary, on Saturday.

    A total of 850 tonnes of tyres were collected from 400 farmers in Tipperary on Saturday. The average volume collected at each of the four bring centres now stands at 1,000t.

    While this is the final planned disposal day with the Irish Farm Films Producers Group (IFFPG), farmers have called for further "bring centres".

    The IFA is calling for a national scheme to be rolled out so that there is one recycling point opened in each county.

    IFA environment chair Thomas Cooney said the association has sought a meeting with Minister for State at the Department of Environment Seán Canney.

    “We look forward to working with him and his officials to build on the good work so far and ensure we all play our part in keeping the countryside clean,” Cooney said.

    Read more

    Equivalent of 350,000 car tyres collected from bring centres

    Irish farms among the most valuable in the EU
    A combination of high land prices and low debt makes the net value of Irish farms among the highest in Europe.

    The average Irish farm has a net value of just under €1m, the fourth highest among the 28 EU member states, a comparison of 2015 farm accounting data by the European Commission has found.

    UK farms are the most valuable, with a net worth of €1.8m on average, followed by the Netherlands at €1.6m and farms in Denmark at just over €1m.

    By contrast, the average Romanian farm is worth just €33,700, the lowest net worth in the EU.

    Irish farms hold on average €1m worth of assets, higher than the EU average of €338,600, but only in sixth position in the EU league. Nearly 90% of those assets are land, with only UK farms locking more of their value into farmland.

    Meanwhile Irish farms have very low debt levels, far smaller than the EU average of €54,500. Recent CSO figures show that most farms don't have any debt, and the 35% who do owe an average of €60,000 only. Moreover, Irish farmers have secured long-term loans in much larger proportions than their counterparts in most other EU countries, who are more exposed to the need of constantly refinancing short-term loans.

    High solvency

    As a result, Irish farms have the lowest liabilities-to-assets ratio, under 3%, described by the Commission as a sign of high solvency. "In the case of Ireland, the low liabilities-to-assets ratio mainly reflects relatively high asset values when compared to low liabilities," analysts wrote.

    The high value of Irish farms is not reflected in their income ranking. The average Irish farm's net income was higher than the EU average but ranked in 11th position only, far behind the Dutch leaders.

    Irish farmers were also the third most reliant on direct payments for their income, with only Greek and Finnish farmers receiving a larger proportion of their income from the BPS system.

    Read more

    2018 farm incomes to sink to eight-year low