Lakeland holds milk price
The first processor to announce its June milk price has held.

Lakeland Dairies, the first processor to announce its June milk price, has opted to hold their base price at 30.15c/l excluding VAT.

The board's decision means that the same milk price has been paid since May.

"This is consistent with Lakeland Dairies’ commitment to pay our suppliers the highest possible milk price in line with market conditions which remain challenging," a statement from Lakeland Dairies said.

"There has been a softening in skim markets, which have risen only gradually from a record low, and while butter returns which are underpinning current prices, they have softened in the past month."

The processor is currently in amalgamation talks with LacPatrick co-op, with the potential for the creation of a 1.8bn litre milk pool if the talks are successful.

PPI

The PPI value for June was 109, a 4.4% jump on the previous month. This is equivalent to 31.1c/l excluding VAT, based on Ornua’s product purchase mix and assumed processing costs of 6.5c/l.

"The June 2018 Index reflects stronger returns in the month for butter and powders," an Ornua spokesperson told the Irish Farmers Journal.

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No-deal Brexit – animal exports face ‘cliff-edge scenario’
The UK National Farmers Union has condemned the idea of a no-deal Brexit and lambasted the UK government’s no-deal plans.

A no-deal Brexit scenario would be “catastrophic” according to the UK National Farmers Union (NFU) and would put agri-food exports worth £13bn at serious risk.

Speaking after the recent UK government’s publication guidelines for animal exports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, president of the NFU Minette Batters pointed out that animal exports and products would face a cliff-edge scenario.

Batters highlighted that in the event of a no-deal Brexit the UK would have to become an approved exporter to the EU – an operation that could entail a six-month waiting period.

With the UK officially due to leave the EU in March 2019, tensions have been running high in both EU and UK political camps.

Respect

The UK prime minister Theresa May recently had her Chequer’s proposal for a Brexit deal refused by the EU in Brussels.

At a press conference in Downing Street after the rejection, she stated that the UK had always treated the EU with respect and blamed the EU for the Brexit stalemate.

However, farm organisations in the UK have not been impressed with the Conservative government’s lack of progress in negotiations.

Bar proposals to phase out direct subsidy payments, the UK government has been unclear on how agriculture will be impacted by Brexit.

Trade embargo

“These technical notices confirm in black and white what we already knew: a no-deal scenario would be catastrophic for British agriculture,” the NFU president said.

“A scenario where farmers face an immediate trade embargo for many of their products would have devastating effects and would severely threaten livelihoods and businesses.”

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Tractor run and BBQ raises €12,000 for charity
The FCI has raised a substantial sum of money for six charities from their annual tractor run and BBQ.

Up to €12,000 was raised by the Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland (FCI) through its annual charity BBQ and auction held on 15 July in Co Meath.

Contractor brothers Patrick, Peter and Michael Farrelly hosted the event, which also included the Mickey Farrelly Tractor Run in memory of their late father.

To date, the FCI annual charity BBQ and auctions have raised over €115,000

The event saw a strong attendance and was supported by a large number of food suppliers.

“We are indebted to all of the generous food suppliers who supported us in staging the 2018 FCI charity BBQ. We also thank the contributions from the huge attendance, which have provided us with the opportunity to support so many worthwhile charities," said FCI general secretary Peter Farrelly.

“To date, the FCI annual charity BBQ and auctions have raised over €115,000 for many local and national charities,” he said.

The six charities that received money included:

  • Meath Palliative Care (€3,500)
  • Save our Sons & Daughters (SOSAD) (€2,000)
  • Support Organisation for Trisomy (SOFT) (€2,000)
  • Order of Malta, Kells (€1,000)
  • Order of Malta, Swords (€1,500)
  • Carnaross Community First Responders (€2,000)
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    TB compensation – concern over ‘subtle pressure’ on valuers
    The ICSA has stated that higher rates should be paid for higher-calibre cattle.

    Valuers who determine TB compensation rates should be given free rein to do their jobs without interruption from the Department of Agriculture, according to the ICSA.

    “When it comes to breeding stock, or animals with show potential, there has to be flexibility in the system to allow valuers to give an honest and true assessment of what an animal is worth.

    "In these cases, average price ranges from thousands of animals sold in marts each week is meaningless,” ICSA animal health and welfare chair Hugh Farrell said.

    Too much subtle pressure is being put on valuers

    Currently, a ceiling of €3,000 is applied for payments in respect of any individual bovine reactor animals.

    Exceptions are made for a €4,000 payment for one stock bull per breakdown or €5,000 for one pedigree stock bull.

    “[The] ICSA is concerned that too much subtle pressure is being put on valuers to avoid giving the real value of a high-calibre cow or heifer.

    While the farmer can appeal the valuation, so too can the Department

    “As it stands, the odds are stacked against a farmer who has TB reactors. While the farmer can appeal the valuation, so too can the Department.

    “Unless there is a strong body of evidence that a valuer is continuously getting it wrong, the Department should accept that, at times, there will be stock that are much more valuable than any paper exercise in average values.”

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