Big variation in red diesel prices

There is a significant range in red diesel prices from fuel suppliers in NI. A survey conducted by the Irish Farmers Journal on Wednesday had quotes running from 95p/l 105p/l, excluding VAT.

Most quotes from local suppliers were towards the bottom of this range, although it shows there is potential savings to be made by shopping around.

Overall, red diesel has generally continued to ease back over the past week and the current quotes compare to a peak of 135p/l seen in the spring. However, 12 months ago, red diesel was trading close to 60p/l, so fuel costs are running 63% higher year on year.

Price quotes for white diesel are also falling, with a delivery of 1,000 litres costing approximately 138p/l, excluding VAT, down 15p/l to 17p/l from early July.

Top Holstein bull index passes £1,000

The Profitable Lifetime Index (PLI) of the top Holstein bull in the UK has passed the £1,000 mark.

The latest bull run from AHDB Dairy sees Genosource Captain retain number one spot in the young genomic sire rankings with a revised PLI of £1,014.

Two sons of Captain take the second and third place in the rankings. DG Peace sits on a PLI of £962 and Cogent Koepon Rocky has an index of £959.

In the daughter proven Holstein rankings, Bomaz Monument-P is in the number one position for the first time with a PLI of £785.

Figures show ‘cost of farming squeeze’

There is a “cost of farming squeeze” taking place in the UK as output prices remain out of pace with spiralling input costs, according to an agricultural consultancy firm.

The latest update from The Andersons Centre has its agflation index at 23.5% for July 2022.

This means overall farm costs are up by almost a quarter when compared to the same period last year.

However, a new index for agricultural outputs is up by only 10.3%. Recent falls in commodity grain prices are a key driver in the widening gap between farm input and output prices.

“It also suggests that consumers are struggling to afford rising food prices and that retailers and food service providers are reluctant to pass on further increases,” the Andersons Centre said.

NBA wants UK-wide suckler payments

With NI planning to introduce a payment on suckler cows from 2024, and Scottish producers keen to retain their Suckler Beef Support Scheme, a leading figure in the UK beef industry has called for England and Wales to follow suit.

Writing in his weekly newsletter, National Beef Association (NBA) chief executive Neil Shand said his organisation is continuing to push for headage payments for sucklers.

“Something drastic really needs to be done soon to arrest the decline in numbers of suckler cows,” said Shand.

He said he feared that by the time someone with foresight is in place within government, it will be too late.

“Beef production across the UK must be standardised and supported in a model which is as equal and fair as possible,” he added.

Murnion to host NI Angus club

Prominent Co Down beef farmer Oisin Murnion is to host an open day on Saturday 20 August 2022 organised by the NI Aberdeen Angus Club.

The event is taking place at Tyrella, close to where Oisin is involved in a conservation grazing project. In total, around 90 mainly Angus-cross cows will be on view, along with a small herd of pedigree animals.

According to Oisin, the event will showcase how the Angus can perform in low-input systems. He will also outline the work being done to manage the local environment by grazing.

The open day runs from 11am to 4pm, with refreshments and food available. All donations received will be passed on to Air Ambulance NI.

Larne businessman dies in farm accident

A leading figure in the local beef industry has died following an accident on a farm outside Larne in Co Antrim.

Tom Topping, who was in his 70s, was the driving force behind meat wholesaler Topping Meats, and also pursued other business interests around Larne. The Air Ambulance attended the incident in the Rectory Road area on Monday morning, while officials from the Health and Safety Executive have also been on the scene. Local reports suggest the accident involved a gator overturning on a steep slope.

Our condolences to the Topping family.

Anderson named top White’s grower

Coleraine farmer Alan Anderson has been awarded the John Finnan Oat Quality Award by Co Armagh firm, White’s Oats.

Alan is one of 42 local growers supplying White’s, and is also one of four research sites in NI taking part in a joint initiative with the company.