NEW Irish Dairy Farmer Magazine out now
The new Irish Dairy Farmer magazine is out now. Get your copy from all good newsagents in Ireland, or order it online

Irish Dairy Farmer magazine: The Labour Issue - ORDER IT ONLINE HERE

Labour is a huge issue facing Irish farming. The dairy industry is growing by around 8% per year - the shackles of the milk quota era are well and truly off. However, new constraints are emerging. Farmers are finding it increasingly more difficult to recruit people to work on and manage dairy farms.

Structures are in place to educate and train more young people in the skills of farming, but is farming an attractive career choice for young people?

This issue of the Irish Dairy Farmer magazine tackles the labour issue head on. We deal with it from the farmers’ side – profiling over 40 ways dairy farmers can reduce their labour requirements, while detailing 12 ways in which dairy farmers can improve their people management skills and make farms more attractive places for people to work.

In our ever popular farmer focus section, we profile farmers who are excellent at managing people and who at the same time, are running thriving dairy farm businesses. Labour is an issue facing farmers of all sizes – we profile farmers milking from 80 up to 4,500 cows.

Here’s a preview of what’s inside the Irish Dairy Farmer magazine:

Old Head on Young Shoulders: When David O’Sullivan told his parents not to sell the in-calf heifers as he was going to return from New Zealand after nine months, the whole dynamic of the O’Sullivan family’s farming business was to change.

American Cream: Aidan Brennan visits Rodney and Dorothy Elliott at their farm in the US - Drumgoon Dairies, to speak about their transition from dairy farming in Co. Fermanagh to buying a farm and establishing a super dairy in South Dakota.

Max Power: We meet the team behind a 900-cow farm at Moore Hill Farms, Tallow, Co Waterford.

Team Players: We see how two neighbours have joined forces and are now farming in partnership in Co Galway.

The Fabric of Change: This Coleraine farm, once a linen-production site, is a bit different to most farms in Northern Ireland. With a focus on block calving, the herd compromises a combination of British Friesian and New Zealand Friesian genetics.

Brave Hearts: We speak to the Young family who relocated from the Cowal Peninsula in the Scottish Highlands to Little Buds Farm in Co Westmeath.

WHERE TO BUY:

The Irish Dairy Farmer magazine is available in 3,000 newsagents across Ireland or you can ORDER IT ONLINE HERE.

You can also purhcase the DIGITAL VERSION HERE

Russian spies troll GM and glyphosate debate – report
Russian social media accounts linked to disinformation in the 2016 US election have also campaigned against new farming technologies, according to a media investigation.

The Times reports that scores of tweets linking biotechnologies to health scares were posted by fake or robotic accounts managed by Russian organisations.

The messages include "baseless claims" that GM crops and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup cause autism, the newspaper found after interviewing academics analysing the Twitter accounts linked to Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

Russian interest

Investigations have linked many of the accounts to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organisation allegedly funded by an ally of President Vladimir Putin.

Analysts told The Times it was in Russia's interest to direct public opinion against modern agricultural technologies because the Russian industry is less advanced in that field, and it is a topic likely to create division between the US and its European allies.

Read more

GM crops: are we falling behind?

Bayer vows to fight 8,000 glyphosate lawsuits

Farm costs included in French food pricing law
New French legislation aims at restoring balance in the trade of agricultural products, including rules on minimum food prices.

The French parliament has passed legislation introducing a reference to farmers' production costs in minimum food pricing.

The new law states that any contract for the sale of agricultural products must "take into account one of several indicators relative to agricultural costs". However, lawmakers stopped short of defining what those indicators are, asking farmers, processors and retailers to set them through negotiation.

The law also authorises the government to set new rules on promotions and below-cost selling. An industry forum convened by President Emmanuel Macron last year agreed to raise the below-cost selling threshold for food products by 10% and stop aggressive promotions. The government has committed to limiting promotions on food products to a maximum discount of "three for two", as opposed to "two for one" currently.

The legislation also doubles penalties for animal welfare offences and forces pesticide sellers and advisers to operate as separate businesses. Government canteens, including those feeding all French schoolchildren every day, will have to purchase half of their ingredients from organic, local or quality-assured sources by 2022.

Read more

Tesco and Carrefour purchasing deal to start in October

French MPs call for food safety overhaul after Lactalis scandal

100,000 lambs feared dead after New Zealand storm
Farmers face difficult spring weather in New Zealand as lambing and calving are in full swing.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall on New Zealand's North Island earlier this month have killed an estimated 100,000 new-born lambs, an industry analyst told local media.

Mel Croad of AgriHQ told TV New Zealand that individual farmers had lost hundreds of lambs in the storm, and some thousands.

More than 20m lambs are born each year in New Zealand.

Snow storm

A snow storm is now blanketing parts of the country's South Island, causing further stress to farmers and animals. Power outages were reported in the Otago region this Monday.

The region's dairy herds are in the middle of spring calving and New Zealand's milk production peaks in October.

Read more

Fonterra posts €110m loss

‘New Zealand will have less cows and produce less milk in the future'