The potential changes to calf exports talked about ahead of the full publication of results from recent scientific studies could decimate calf exports for Irish farmers.

The buyers and sellers want good healthy calves and like anything else, the trade won’t continue unless both are happy. Sellers and buyers must put the welfare of calves, health and safety top of the agenda.

Newborn calves from the dairy herd will start appearing within a month and like everything else, a lead in time is required if significant changes to export rules are coming.

German farmers protest against diesel subsidy changes

This week sees German farmers take to the streets in Berlin as changes are made to the green diesel subsidy and a cut to tax breaks for agri vehicles.

The dispute is likely to cause problems for the German coalition government (Social Dems, Free Dems with Greens) and indeed within the Green party itself in Germany, as the Green’s Agriculture Minister joined the protest.

We have seen in the Netherlands and New Zealand recently when farmers are left with no options or alternatives on how to do business they feel cornered into protest.

The ruling government can lose out in the election as a result. The German effort to reduce the agri diesel subsidy is a cost cutting effort, but also would help reduce emissions.

Seasons greetings

A very big thank you to all our readers and customers from everyone in the Irish Farmers Journal for your help, guidance and support through the last year.

After my lead article on this page last week, I got lots of feedback from advisers who were put to the pin of their collar yet again, only for a deadline change at the eleventh hour for the most recent TAMS.

It’s not only advisers, but farmers can also feel the pressure of these scheme deadlines. If you are under pressure with mental health, speaking to your doctor, a family member or indeed your adviser can be very helpful.