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.


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

BSE case identified in Poland
Polish authorities have notified an atypical case of BSE in the west of the country.

The first case of BSE in Poland since 2013 was found in an herd of 50 cattle at the end of January in Mirsk near the Czech border, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has revealed.

According to the report filed by Poland's ministry of agriculture, a suspected case detected in an animal on 24 January was confirmed one week later by the National Veterinary Research Institute.

The animal was killed and disposed of. As with most atypical cases, the cause of infection was unknown.

Negligible risk status

"This event does not have any influence on official BSE risk status recognition of Poland," the OIE commented.

"For the purposes of official BSE risk status recognition, BSE excludes 'atypical BSE' as a condition believed to occur spontaneously in all cattle populations at a very low rate."

Poland enjoys negligible BSE risk status, the lowest risk level under OIE rules. Ireland has controlled risk status.

Leading beef exporter

Poland is one of the EU's leading beef exporters, largely from its dairy herd. In the crucial UK market, Polish beef is the third largest volume supplier with nearly 16,000t shipped over the first 11 months of last year, behind the Netherlands (18,000t) and Ireland (190,000t).

Read more

EU auditors in Poland to inspect meat plants

Polish authorities insist withdrawn meat was safe

Fonterra's John Wilson dies
The former chair of New Zealand's largest dairy co-op has passed away.

One of the world's most prominent dairy farmers, New Zealander John Wilson, died this Monday aged 54.

He was chair of Fonterra, the largest global dairy exporter, from 2012 until his resignation over poor health last July.

From his farm in the Waikato region and a second dairy business he co-owned in South Canterbury, Wilson represented farmers at various levels in Fonterra, including during its foundation through the amalgamation of several co-ops in 2001. As chair, he oversaw expansion and international joint venture developments, followed by the crisis of the 2015-2016 global milk price crash.

Until his death, he was listed as chair of Fonterra's governance development committee, which has been working on farm succession.

'Solutions, not problems'

In a message to members, his successor as Fonterra chair John Monaghan said that Wilson was survived by his wife Belinda and four daughters.

"He always looked ahead and focused on finding a way through tough times that would protect Fonterra's farmers, share-milkers and their families," Monaghan said. "Bringing farmers solutions, not problems, was always his mindset."

Read more

Dairy markets: New Zealand set to produce record milk volumes

Lessons for Ireland from New Zealand

France begins €50m Brexit border upgrade
The French government has announced the start of a construction programme to host border checks after a no-deal Brexit.

Agencies managing ports and airports connecting France to the UK will "launch without delay the necessary works to make border controls operational on 30 March," French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced this Thursday.

This includes temporary buildings and parking areas representing a €50m investment.

Emergency legislation is also being prepared to maintain traffic through the Channel tunnel

The French government is also launching the recruitment and training of 580 customs and veterinary officers to be deployed to the "most-affected regions" including ports along France's north-western coast.

Emergency legislation is also being prepared to maintain traffic through the Channel tunnel and offer temporary residency arrangements to British citizens in France.

French ports and the tunnel handle traffic to and from the UK as well as much of the agri-food and other trade between Ireland and mainland Europe, whether through direct shipping route or via the so-called UK landbridge with lorries transiting through Britain.