Retaining farmer control over routes to market is essential - ICOS president
The ICOS conference on Thursday was attended by co-operative leaders from all over Ireland, including dairy processors, national livestock marts and community-based enterprises.

“Retaining farmer control over our routes to market is essential and this requires continuing investment, growth and development of our co-operatives,” ICOS president Michael Spellman told the 42nd the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) National Conference in Naas, Co Kildare on Thursday.

“The directors of co-operatives operate in a very complex business environment with a responsibility to run them prudently, to establish an appropriate risk appetite and to manage those risks appropriately.”

Continued commitment

"That takes continued commitment on our part to invest in and to commit to our businesses that previous generations worked so hard to build," Spellman said.

He added that risk and opportunity must be seen as the two sides of the same coin.

“If we can effectively manage, embrace and monetise the risks that surround us, then our businesses should continue to grow and prosper.”

The ICOS conference was addressed by FBD CEO Fiona Muldoon; John Jordan, CEO of Ornua and Guy Smith, deputy president of the National Farmers Union (UK).

ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland

A series of workshops addressed sustainability, mart health and safety and corporate risk within the co-operative sector including concepts of environmental sustainability as the ‘new quota’, the challenges around water quality, greenhouse gases, ammonia emissions from farming and the preservation and promotion of biodiversity.

ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14bn, with some 150,000 individual members.

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The farmer's daily wrap: ATM thefts, BPS and silage 2019
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Saturday 20 April.

Weather forecast

Saturday is forecast to be a warm and dry day, with sunshine developing after clearance of mist and fog.

Met Éireann has said that it will stay cloudy in Connacht and west and north Ulster, with some light rain or drizzle there along the coast.

Afternoon temperatures will range between 15°C and 16°C in the northwest to between 17°C and 22°C elsewhere.

In the news

  • A tractor, low-loader and digger were used in the early hours of Friday to rob two ATMs in Kells, Co Meath.
  • Vigilante animal activists could face up to 12 months in prison for sharing personal information which allows them to target and trespass on farms, if the current Australian government is re-elected.
  • Over 55,000 farmers have applied to date to the Over 55,000 BPS applications made to date" target="_blank">2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS).
  • Representatives from FBD have blamed the cost of high insurance premiums ‘Cost of insurance is too high’ – FBD" target="_blank">on people who are too willing to make insurance claims and the Irish legal system, which is too generous with pay-outs.
  • The annual silage harvest at Dublin Airport began on Thursday.
  • Coming up this Saturday

  • Good week/bad week.
  • The connection between passport applications and BPS applications.
    Fire-fighters battling huge gorse fire in Donegal
    Two houses have already been taken by the blaze, which is raging in the Annagry area of the county.

    Fire-fighters and locals in the Annagry area of Donegal are fighting a gorse fire which has destroyed two homes in the area.

    The Donegal Daily reports that eight units of Donegal fire brigade are battling the blaze.

    It also reports that locals are fighting the fire.

    The Malin Coast Guard is helping to assess the area currently being covered by the fire.

    One Twitter user tweeted an image of smoke from the fire earlier today.

    The fire comes following a a condition orange fire warning, which called on forest owners, farmers and rural dwellers to be vigilant over the bank holiday weekend for fires.

    There is a high risk of fires this weekend as a result of easterly high pressure conditions and forecast high temperatures.

    These conditions mean that a high fire risk exists in all areas where hazardous fuels such as gorse, heather, dried grasses and other dead vegetation exist.

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    In pictures: 2019 silage season takes off at Dublin Airport
    The annual silage harvest at the country’s busiest airport began on Thursday.

    Tractors and mowers were called into action to kick off the 2019 silage season at Dublin Airport on Thursday.

    Over 200ac of silage will be made at the country’s largest airport over the next two days, according to Ciarán Hoey, one of the tractor drivers on the job.

    A team of seven drivers was operating the fleet of butterfly mowers, a harvester, six trailers and Massey Ferguson tractors to make silage in the short time window.

    “With security being very strict, it will be a highly co-ordinated harvest,” explained Hoey.

    The grass will be drawn a short distance to a nearby farmer for pit silage.

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    Watch: Silage 2017 kicks off in Dublin Airport

    Easter weekend: hazy with highs of 23°C in parts