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

Fonterra revises its milk price forecast upwards
Fonterra Co-op in New Zealand has increased its 2018/19 forecast farmgate milk price.

The Fonterra farmgate milk price range has increased from $6.30 to $6.60 (€3.79 to €3.97) per kgMS for the 2018/19 season. This is up from from $6.00 to $6.30 (€3.61 to €3.79). However, it has revised its forecast earnings down to between 15c and 25c per share (€0.09 to €0.15 per share).

Fonterra expects that milk volumes will be up by 2% on last year.

Chair John Monaghan says the improved milk price forecast reflects the increases in global milk prices over the last quarter.

“Since our last milk price update in December, global demand has strengthened. This is driven predominantly by stronger demand from Asia, including Greater China,” he said.

“The European Union’s (EU) intervention stocks of skim milk powder (SMP) have also now cleared for the season and, as a result, we expect demand for SMP to be strong.”

Since our last milk price update in December, global demand has strengthened

Australia’s milk production is forecast to be down 5% to 7% on last season and the EU’s growth has slowed and is now forecast to be less than 1% up on last year.

“Here in New Zealand, due to hot, dry weather since the start of the year, we’ve revised our co-op’s forecast milk collections down from 1,550m kgMS to 1,530m kgMS. This is up 2% on last year,” Monaghan said.

Demand

“We expect demand to remain stronger relative to supply for the rest of the season.”

However, Fonterra says that earnings performance in the co-op is not satisfactory and “a fundamental change in direction” is needed to deliver on its full potential.

“We are taking a close look at our business with our portfolio review, where we can win in the world, and the products and markets where we have a real competitive advantage,” Monaghan said.

Read more

Southern February milk supply suffers

Steady January starts year positively

Russian beef giant moves into lamb industry
The first batch of lambs have been slaughtered at the Miratorg factory in Bryansk, Oblast, Russia.

Beef giant, Miratorg, has processed its first 4,000t of lamb as part of its venture into the sheep industry.

The sheep were reared on a pilot farm with the capacity for 50,000 head, Global Meat News reports.

Miratorg is run by the Linnikov brothers who are Russia’s biggest farmers. They started out in the pig and poultry industries, only forming the fully integrated beef operation in 2006.

Most of Miratorg’s beef operations are centred around Bryansk, which is 550km southwest of Moscow.

The new venture into lamb was announced in October 2018. The company plans to invest €368m in the project by 2023, keep 1.3m sheep across 12 farms and produce 71,200t of sheepmeat per year.

Most of Miratorg’s beef operations are centred around Bryansk, which is 550km southwest of Moscow

“We evidenced a strong demand among consumers for this type of product and, in future, plan to open several other sheep breeding farms in the black earth region,” said Miratorg president Viktor Linnik.

“The expansion of the pilot project would increase both the economic and physical availability of this type of meat for Russian consumers, and would improve the export potential of Russia’s meat industry.”

Read more

EU supports during Russian ban amounted to €24.8m

Long read: inside Russia's Miratorg, where world beef domination is on the menu

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