UK farming unions publish open letter on glyphosate
Ahead of an EU vote on Monday on the extension of glyphosate authorisation, presidents of the UK farming unions have sent a letter to European policymakers on the importance of its reauthorisation.

The NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and UFU came together ahead of member state experts voting on a temporary re-extension of authorisation for glyphosate on Monday.

Glyphosate is a herbicide ingredient most commonly known as the main active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup.

It is almost universally used ahead of reseeding grassland and it is widely used in tillage farming.

If the vote is passed this would be for approximately 18 months until the ECHA (European Union’s Agency for Chemical Products) tables its report next year.

The UK farming unions say there is no "well-reasoned argument" holding back a full re-authorisation of glyphosate in line with the regulatory process.

The letter also states that the glyphosate decision has been subject to "political bargaining".

It begins: "From their fields, yards and orchards across the UK, farmers are following the ongoing debate on the re-approval of glyphosate with mounting concern. To our minds, it comes down to a very simple question: what do we need? What do we need to keep providing people with food, our businesses viable and deliver other public goods that come from farming?"

It goes on to say that European farmers need glyphosate to provide "a safe, secure and affordable food supply" while increasingly responding to consumer demand for greater environmental sensitivity.

"Glyphosate is subject to regulation, as with all other pesticides, so that it is not found in dangerous quantities in the food chain," the presidents write.

"It is also an essential tool used in farming practices that actually improve soil structure and require less work with machinery; thus helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions," they continue.

They also ask that elected officials and policymakers "respect the process" for the re-registration of plant protection products.

Killer blow

IFA grain chair Liam Dunne has previously said that failure to renew the authorisation of glyphosate would deliver "a killer blow" to tillage farming.

”While other users might arguably manage without this active, the removal of glyphosate in the absence of alternative active ingredients to control economically important weeds will deliver a killer blow to the Irish and wider EU tillage sectors,” said Dunne.

Failure to agree

Last month a specialist European Commission committee failed to agree and take a vote on glyphosate licensing renewal because of opposition from several EU member states.

However, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed recently indicated that Ireland was not one of the member states opposed to the proposal from the Commission, saying it “contained appropriate measures”.

Read the full open letter here.

Stay tuned to farmersjournal.ie for the result of today's vote by EU member states

Read more

Full coverage: glyphosate

Agri jobs: dairy, meat processing and horticulture jobs
We take a look at what jobs are out there at the moment in the agricultural sector.

Horticulture worker

A horticulture worker is required on a farm in Kells, Co Kilkenny. General duties will include carrying out all work associated with cropping, repairing and maintaining farm vehicles and digging and planting seeds.

Other work will include harvesting fruit and vegetables. The salary is €22,000/year.

For more information on this role, click here.

Dairy farm manager

A dairy farm worker is required for an expanding grass-based dairy operation in Co Laois. The successful candidate could progress to being the dairy farm manager.

This dairy enterprise is running two dairy herds, one in Ballacolla and one in Rathdowney. Both farms are new greenfield sites which have modern milking facilities.

For further details, click here.

Dairy farm worker

A farm worker is required for a family-run dairy farm with a modern set up and expanding herd in Co Monaghan. Duties will include milking cows, feeding calves, machinery work and general farm work.

Experience is desirable and a Green Cert is preferable. A full clean driving licence is essential.

To apply for this job, click here.

Dairy farm worker

A farm worker is required to work on a progressive dairy farm in Co Cork.

Duties will include milking cows, rearing calves and grassland management. Some experience is an advantage for the role.

For more information on this position, click here.

Meat processing operatives

Ballon Meats in Carlow is looking to hire meat processing operatives to work as part of the factory processing team producing meat to fulfil production targets on a daily and weekly basis.

The successful candidates will be required to work in all areas of the factory, where you will be required to work on your own initiative and as part of a team.

For more information on this position, click here.

Beef and dairy bosses demand Brexit action from Creed
Imposing tariffs on exports would "cripple trade", meat and dairy factory representatives have warned.

Beef and dairy bosses braced for a hard Brexit have handed a list of demands to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

With 65 days remaining to salvage a Brexit deal, the nightmare scenario of a no-deal is becoming ever more likely.

A delegation including Aurivo’s Aaron Forde, ABP’s Martin Kane, Larry Murrin of Dawn Farms Foods, Cormac Healy of Meat Industry Ireland and Conor Mulvihill of Dairy Industry Ireland, met with Minister Creed on Tuesday.

Dairy co-ops want dual British-Irish status for Northern Ireland milk, export refunds and other trade supports. They called for a freeze on tariffs in the event of a no-deal Brexit and direct income aid for farmers.

Meat factory representatives warned that if tariffs are imposed on exports to the UK “it would cripple trade”, with the additional danger of sterling devaluation in a no-deal outcome.

They called for extra resources to ensure speedy border checks and increased ferry capacity and routes for direct shipping to the continent.

While European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan reassured farmers Brussels is poised to swoop to their aid, a Commission spokesman confirmed a hard border is inevitable unless the British reach an agreement with the EU or delay their withdrawal.

Read more

No-deal Brexit to add 21c/l in cheddar processing costs

EU 'stands ready' to support farmers - Hogan
European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has assured farmers that Europe is planning for all possible outcomes from Brexit negotiations.

European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan has moved to reassure farmers that the EU stands ready to intervene in markets to protect prices in the event of a hard Brexit.

“We have to prepare for the worst. The European Union stands ready to help Irish and EU farmers in the event of a hard Brexit,” Commissioner Hogan said, addressing a crowd of more than 250 farmers at the Kilkenny IFA annual dinner dance on Saturday night.

“We have the tools ready to intervene, including Aid to Private Storage, intervention and a revision of state aid rules,” he added.

Slow

His words will help give farmers comfort that, while Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has been slow to commit to supports, plans for a safety net at EU level are well advanced.

Hogan reassured farmers that the EU is ready for all scenarios, but warned that the Government must also be ready and ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place to ensure products can continue to move through ports.

Gloomy

While a no-deal Brexit paints a gloomy picture, vice president of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness is reminding farmers that it could be avoided if a deal is reached between the EU and UK. But, she says, plans are being put in place to deal with a no-deal scenario.

“There are deep concerns about the consequences,” McGuinness told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“We will need to be looking at how you are going to support a vulnerable sector, that will call for money.

"All of those things will have to be discussed in the short period of time before the United Kingdom leaves.”