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

Green diesel prices ease
Prices for green diesel and kerosene have reduced following last week’s increases.

Prices for green diesel and kerosene have reduced following last week’s increase.

Farmers are securing loads of green diesel at 72c to 74c/l for 1,000 litres delivered including VAT, while kerosene is ranging from 73c to 75c/l for 1,000 litres delivered including VAT.

In general, prices have remained steady over the last month since the ease of prices in July.

Oil trends have seen a slight decrease, with oil prices hovering around $68 US per barrel.

Prices are expected to rise towards the beginning of next week.

Price volatility is set to continue, as oil prices remain difficult to predict.

British farmers call 'drought summit'
The National Farmers Union (NFU) will hold an emergency meeting with British authorities this week to address the impact of this summer's heatwave on agriculture.

The NFU will host a "drought summit" in London on Wednesday with representatives from other farming organisations, the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Rural Payments Agency and farming charities.

Despite this weekend's rain over parts of the UK, the NFU warned that many parts of England and Wales haven’t seen any significant rain since the end of May resulting in "tinderbox conditions".

The meeting will address the availability of forage as livestock farmers dig into winter reserves, water resources for irrigated crops and growing conditions for cereals including the "risk of standing crop fires".

"There could be serious concerns for many farmers if this extended spell of warmer, drier weather continues as the long-range forecast suggests," said NFU president Minette Batters. "This unprecedented spell of weather really should be a wake-up call for us all. It’s a timely reminder that we shouldn’t take food production for granted. Farming is one of the most affected industries when it comes to managing volatility."

Read more

Temperatures soar to over 30°C

Satellite images show extent of ground scorched by drought

All-island concern for winter fodder stocks

French MPs call for food safety overhaul after Lactalis scandal
Recommendations from a parliamentary report into the contamination of infant formula in France could have ripple effects across a key industry for Irish dairy processors.

A parliamentary investigation into the contamination of infant formula made by French dairy processor Lactalis has recommended tighter government control funded by a new levy on the industry.

A rare strain of salmonella found in Lactalis milk powders made 41 babies ill last year. It exposed a series of failures in the identification of the problem by the manufacturer and in the recall of contaminated products by wholesalers, retailers, hospitals and creches, according to French MPs.

Government agencies tasked with managing this type of crisis "work efficiently, but each in its own corner, which leads to significant inefficiency of the system as a whole".

The parliamentary commission recommends to merge all services involved in alerting the public on food safety crises into one agency under the Department of Agriculture. This authority should run a single website, mobile app and phone number to alert consumers on food product recalls and receive tip-offs from the public.

Processor levy

Up to 900 additional inspectors should be recruited to perform more frequent checks at food factories. This would be funded through a levy on food processors recently authorised by European legislation. This would cost €72m working out at an average of €190 per food processing site annually, which MPs said would have a "very limited impact" on consumer prices.

"The report rejects all proposals to outsource checks to independent certified bodies," insisting on the need for government agencies to retain control of the entire process. Further mistrust in the industry's self-regulation shows in the recommendation to 'stress-test' product recall procedures.

"It is not acceptable that a scandal had to erupt for failures in the implementation of product recalls by retailers to be exposed," MPs wrote.

All checkouts should be equipped with software blocking the sale of recalled products and emergency procedures should allow the authorities to use bank card details to trace consumers who have bought contaminated food, they added.

Read more

Lactalis forced to publish partial accounts

Lactalis contamination went on for 12 years

83 countries affected by major Lactalis infant formula recall

Responsibility of industry leaders