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While there was no official price rise from the main pork export plants last Friday, there is signs that factories are paying above quotes to secure numbers.

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Stocks of Queen potatoes are running very low with many buyers actively ringing farmers trying to source remaining supplies. With these earlies cleared from the market, it augurs well for the main season crop.

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Smart Farming, the resource efficiency programme run by IFA in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency has launched updated water guidance, to support farmers work in improving water quality and reducing the risk of penalties.

Thomas Cooney, Smart Farming Programme Leader said, “Farmers are the custodians of the rural environment and their increasing participation in the voluntary Smart Farming programme demonstrates their willingness and desire to focus on both improving their farm returns while enhancing the rural environment. I believe this updated water guidance will help farmers achieve these two objectives”.

Mary Frances Rochford, EPA Programme Manager in the EPA’s Office of Environmental Sustainability added, “Clean water is essential to our health and wellbeing and conserving water is essential in the context of our changing climate. We must do more to halt deterioration in water quality so that we protect this most precious public resource. Smart Farming plays an important role in addressing water conservation and water quality in the farming sector. Successful implementation of the measures need wide and willing take up by the farming community.”

Catherine Seale-Duggan from the Local Authority Waters Programme welcomed the additional information provided on water protection and conservation. She noted that farming is so important for maintaining and improving water quality and she was delighted to see that farmers were being actively supported to achieve water quality improvements on their farms.

The beef talks in Backweston have concluded after more than 12 hours of discussions between the various parties.


The independent Chairman Michael Dowling will circulate a document based on the proposals that were put forward.


IFA President Joe Healy said some progress had been made on market transparency and the introduction of a price index.


There is also a commitment to look at the market specifications that impact on price that exist in the grid.


It is expected that the talks will re-convene on Thursday or Monday next.


IFA President Joe Healy has said that retailers and the EU Commission must be included in the talks that the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has convened for tomorrow.

Speaking at the Tullamore Show today (Sun), Joe Healy said, “While the factories are the main problem, the retailer has a dominant role in the dysfunctional food chain that is not working for beef farmers. They need to be around the table tomorrow to account for their actions and to outline how they intend to address the problem”.

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