Timely TB reactor removal ‘essential’
The rate at which positive TB reactors are removed varies significantly depending on the region, according to ICOS.

The timely removal of positive TB reactors across the country is vital in the fight against the disease.

Citing figures from the latest farmers charters meeting on Thursday 6 December, ICOS livestock executive Ray Doyle said that a fast removal rate was “essential”.

Doyle explained that Department of Agriculture figures showed 56% of positive reactors are removed within zero to five days; 35% in six to 10 days; 5% in 11 to 15 days; 2% in 16 to 20 days and 2% in more than 21 days.

Overall, TB reactor figures have increased by 15% since this time last year.

"While these figures seem impressive at a national level, they are averages only and significant variations could exist regionally,” Doyle said.

Cost of scheme

He also raised concerns on the cost of the TB eradication programme annually for farmers.

Farmers contributed up to €32m of the €84m scheme last year.

If the disease is to be eradicated by 2030, as Minister Michael Creed has expressed he wishes to do, then up to €1bn will be spent by that time with little to no improvement rate if the disease continues on the current trajectory, according to Doyle.

He said that while they recognised the importance of the scheme, “it also represents a drain on scarce financial resources that could be better directed at initiatives that grow the broader agri-food sector”.

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The farmer's daily wrap: stolen bull and drop in milk production
Here is your news round-up of the five top farming stories and weather outlook for Tuesday 18 November.

Weather forecast

The weather is forecast to be wet and windy across Leinster and Ulster at first on Tuesday, but Met Éireann has said that the rain will clear mid-morning and the southerly winds ease as brighter conditions extend across the country.

Showers are then forecast to be mainly in the western half of the country, with long dry periods in many places during the afternoon.

Highest temperatures will range between 6°C and 9°C in moderate southwest breezes.

In the news

  • A farmer is appealing for information after a young bull was stolen from her farm in Cavan.
  • On average, 56 cows (all four or five stars) calving from January to March next year made €1,450 each at the Drohan clearance sale in New Ross on Saturday.
  • In dairy markets, there were sharp declines in milk production in France and the Netherlands in October this year.
  • The National Ploughing Association has unveiled the location of the 2019 European contest.
  • There is an unsettled week of weather ahead, with heavy rain forecast on Monday night and Tuesday.
  • Coming up this Tuesday

  • Matthew Halpin has an update on the BETTER beef programme.
  • The latest update on grain markets.
  • Tommy Heffernan's latest animal health advice.
    Sustainability and green image key for Ireland in Asian markets
    A new report by Asia Matters and KPMG focuses on the opportunities for the Irish agri-food industry in meeting future food supply demands in Asia.

    Further developing awareness of Ireland’s ‘green’ brand in Asian countries and prioritising sustainable food production will be key for Irish export success in Asia, a new report has found.

    The Strategic Importance of Asia for Ireland’s Agri-food Sector report, by Asia Matters and KPMG, outlined a number of priorities for Ireland’s agri-food export sector to expand its position as a global supplier.

    In order to satisfy the demand for quality, safe and nutritious food to rapidly growing consumer middle classes in Asia, Ireland should:

  • Consistently deliver world-class biosecurity.
  • Further develop awareness of ‘green’ brand in Asian countries.
  • Prioritise sustainable food production.
  • Sign high-quality trade agreements with Asian customers.
  • Articulate a collective industry vision.
  • Invest time and resources in understanding Asian consumer trends.
  • Export trends

    The report looks at current exporting trends from Ireland to Asia and future opportunities, the conditions needed for Ireland to remain competitive and practical advice for businesses seeking to establish or expand their presence in Asia.

    As Asian countries advance to become the foremost consumers of global food supply, Irish businesses across agriculture, food and beverage, fisheries and fish-processing industries have a unique opportunity to leverage competitive advantages, such as Ireland’s reputable quality assurance regimes, world-class research capabilities, human capital and positive trading relationships to gain further foothold in Asia.

    We are a country of over 5m that produces enough food to feed over 50m people

    Commenting on the opportunity for Ireland, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said that Ireland’s agri-food sector is heavily export focused. “We are a country of over 5m that produces enough food to feed over 50m people. There is huge potential for the development of new markets for Irish agri-food exports in Asia,” he said.

    Alan Dukes, chair of Asia Matters and former Minister for Agriculture, added that “understanding the future Asian demand for food is vital if Ireland is to succeed in the rapidly evolving Asian markets.

    “Ireland is well positioned to achieve ambitious targets of almost doubling agri exports by 2025.”

    Head of agribusiness with KPMG in Ireland David Meagher said: “We know that Asian demand is on the rise, and that Ireland produces very high-quality food, but to capitalise on the opportunity amid common global trading challenges, we must excel in developing trusting relationships with trading partners and deepening our understanding of Asian consumers.”

    Read more

    Irish dairy is now playing in new and exotic global markets

    Malaysia offers opportunities for value growth in exports

    In pictures: cows average €1,450 at Wexford clearance sale
    On average, the 56 cows calving from January to March next year made €1,450 each at the Drohan clearance sale in New Ross last Saturday, Patrick Browne and Jack Kennedy report.

    Farmers came from Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Kildare to buy stock at the Drohan clearance sale in New Ross last Saturday.

    On average, the 56 cows (all four or five stars) calving from January to March next year made €1,450 each.

    Prices ranged from less than €1,000 for the very old cows right up to €2,000 for the tops.

    The top third of stock made in the €1,400 to €1,700 range, with plainer cows down around €1,300.

    There were 10 heifers also on sale and they made between €1,500 and €1,700 each.

    Sample prices

    This 680kg Simmental born in January 2014 made €1,570. \ Patrick Browne

    This 560kg Limousin born in January 2015 made €1,520. \ Patrick Browne

    This 620kg Limousin born in April 2015 made €1,500. \ Patrick Browne

    This 590kg Simmental born in January 2016 made €1,520. \ Patrick Browne

    This 620kg Simmental born in January 2015 made €1,400. \ Patrick Browne

    This 695kg Simmental born in January 2017 made €1,620. \ Patrick Browne

    This 670kg Simmental born in January 2015 made €1,550. \ Patrick Browne

    This 710kg Simmental born in January 2015 made €1,750. \ Patrick Browne

    Patrick Drohan was a member of the Teagasc/Irish Farmers Journal BETTER Farm beef programme.

    Read more

    Five-star clearance makes five-star prices in Wexford