NIMEA and UFU musical chairs

The Ulster Farmers’ Union is on the hunt for a new policy officer to cover beef and sheep, and hill farming committees, after the incumbent, Daryl McLaughlin, confirmed he is off to take over as chief executive of the NI Meat Exporters’ Association (NIMEA).

McLaughlin is replacing Conall Donnelly at NIMEA, who was successful in a recent competition to be the new managing director of the UFU’s subsidiary company, Countryside Services ltd, based in Dungannon. The company also has a base in Nottinghamshire, England, operating as Dalton Tags.

Conacre make £420/acre at auction

Conacre land for grazing and silage surpassed the £400/acre mark at a public auction of 290 acres near Ballymoney last Friday.

Carnany Farm was offered for short term let in four separate lots with the public auction conducted by McIlrath & Sons at Kilrea Mart.

Brisk bidding saw prices range from £280 to £420/acre. All land tendered for letting excluded entitlements with payment required inside 14 days.

Cost of an Ulster Fry hits new heights

The Ulster Bank’s chief economist, Richard Ramsey, has reported a major increase in the cost of the Ulster Fry.

His long-established Ulster Fry index tracks the cost of the ingredients, using the UK Retail Price Index as a guide.

In the year to February 2023, the index has risen by 19.1% with the price of all ingredients showing increases. The increase in 2023, the highest ever recorded, is on top of a 6.4% rise in the previous year to February 2022.

Leading the way in 2023 is milk, up by 42.9% closely followed by eggs at 29.3%. Other notable increases are butter, up by 25.4%; bread up 21.1%; bacon up 20.1%, sausage up 19.3%; tomatoes up 18.0%; tea by 15.3%; and mushrooms by a mere 6.7%.

Red diesel prices harden

Price quotes for red diesel have hardened in recent days as fuel companies react to an upturn in crude oil prices after several OPEC countries announced plans to cut output.

Quotes on a delivery of 2,250 litres range from just over 75p/l, up to a high point around 77.5p/l, excluding VAT.

That is up by 2p/l from the latter half of last week, with crude oil prices increasing from US $77 to $84/barrel since the beginning of April.

ARCZero organise farm events

The first of three events over the coming weeks on farms participating in the ARCZero project takes place on Wednesday 26 April 2023, with Banbridge dairy farmer Ian McClelland hosting under the theme “net zero and animal health”.

The second event is on Wednesday 24 May 2023 on the beef and sheep farm of Patrick Casement, Ballycastle, with the final visit to John Gilliland’s Brook Hall Estate outside Derry on Tuesday 20 June 2023.

Registration for the first event is now open on the ARCZero website.

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