The farmer's daily wrap: suckler cow payment and sprouting spuds
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Thursday, 9 August 2018.


According to the latest forecast from Met Éireann, scattered showers will continue tonight but become isolated towards morning over the east. There will be good clear spells and lowest temperatures will fall to between 6 to 9°C in mostly light west to southwest breezes.

Friday will be mostly dry with some sunny spells but scattered showers will continue to affect the west and north, with a few heavy showers in the north. Top temperatures of 15 to 20°C, warmest in the south and winds will be light to moderate westerly.

Overall, the changeable and unsettled weather is set to continue.

In the news

  • Pressure is mounting for €200 suckler cow payment with the launch of a new expert report this Sunday at the Tullamore Show.
  • Changes to the mandatory EID tagging rule are still attracting opposition.
  • Potato growers are facing unprecedented sprouting problem.
  • Iceland Ireland is to pay 2c/l more for fresh milk, which is to be passed back directly to farmers.
  • Coming up

    We bring you all the details ahead of the Tullamore Show this Sunday.

    Tánaiste open to more time for Brexit
    The Tánaiste Simon Coveney has stated that theEU is willing to extend the transition period after the UK leaves the EU ahead of this week's leaders summit in Brussels.

    Tánaiste Simon Coveney has told the Irish Farmers Journal that the EU is willing to extend the transition period after the UK leaves the EU.

    This would allow more time for negotiations on future trading relationships between the EU and UK, and possibly avoid implementation of the backstop agreed last December. The UK's wish for a time limit on the backstop was described as a “new ask” by the Tánaiste .

    Coveney added that it is imperative that Northern Ireland remains in regulatory alignment with the EU to protect the all-island economy.

    The EU will release contingency plans next week explaining the implications of a no-deal Brexit in three areas: aviation, food standards and citizen’s rights.

    'No back-sliding' – IFA

    IFA president Joe Healy urged EU leaders to ensure there is no back-sliding on the backstop and no time limit, thereby guaranteeing that a hard border will not return at any point.

    While the IFA says Irish farmers' interests lie in in maintaining full access and frictionless trade Ireland and Britain, the UK government intends to leave the single market and customs union and conduct its own trade policy.

    This would open the door to Britain directly competing with the EU in future trade deals, undercutting EU import tariffs and granting additional import quotas, for example to the US, Mercosur, Australia, New Zealand, Canada etc. That would be totally unacceptable – Joe Healy

    The IFA has also raised concerns that the UK is aiming to avoid compliance with EU regulations and standards on marketing, labelling, GMOs, pesticides, geographic indications, food fraud and other CAP requirements.

    With the outcome of talks uncertain, Healy has called for both a direct aid scheme for farmers to compensate potential devaluation of sterling, and a special fund to offset the negative impacts of Brexit. The size of the fund should be flexible, in order to adapt to a soft or hard Brexit as needed, he added.

    Make K application a priority after extra silage cuts – Teagasc
    Speaking at the Teagasc national soil fertility conference, Mark Plunkett advised farmers to apply K in fields where two or three silages cuts had been taken.

    As favourable conditions allowed for additional late cuts of silage, farmers attending the Teagasc soil fertility conference were advised to apply K to those fields.

    Speaking at the event, Mark Plunkett, Teagasc soil and plant nutrition specialist said autumn was a good time to apply both K and lime especially where extra grass cuts were taken. He added that by doing so farmers could reduce the likelihood of grass tetany issues and N loss in spring.

    He said: “Intensively cut grass silage removes significant quantities of nutrients at harvest time and may reduce soil fertility. Now is a good time to review soil test results and develop a fertiliser plan in time for the year ahead.”

    Also speaking at the conference, Dr John Spink said the management of soil fertility levels should be a priority for every dairy and drystock farmer. Dr Spink who is head of the crops environment and land-use programme at Teagasc encouraged all farmers to follow the five steps for effective soil fertility management.

    These five steps include; soil testing, soil pH and lime, targeting index 3 for P and K, using slurry and manure and achieving a nutrient balance.

    Dr David Wall of Teagasc said that while fertiliser inputs represented a significant cost they are necessary to drive high grass, milk and meat outputs.

    He said: “Getting the basics correct by applying lime, maximising slurry and manure nutrient resources and selecting the right fertiliser product, and applying it at the right rate and right time will go a long way to improving production, profitability and sustainability on grassland farms.”

    Full conference report in tomorrow’s Irish Farmers Journal

    Read more

    Grass growth back 3t/ha on Laois farm

    Grass holds the key to unlocking profitability in beef

    Two arrested over stolen vehicles parts
    Gardaí in Meath have arrested two men in connection with an investigation into stolen vehicle parts.

    Two men have been arrested by Gardaí in Meath as part of an investigation into stolen vehicles parts. The arrests were made after Gardaí recovered a large amount of suspected stolen vehicle parts from a number of premises in Meath and Kildare.

    The men, aged 34 and 24, were arrested and detained in Trim station. They were due expected to appear before Trim District Court today.

    The operation involved the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigations supported by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and local based Gardaí.

    Further arrests

    Earleir this week, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) raided a suspected hiding place for stolen vehicles and arrested four men in Mayobridge, Co Down.

    Police said four men aged 59, 51, 40 and 37 were arrested at the scene on suspicion of handling property believed to have been stolen in the Republic of Ireland.