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IFA President Joe Healy said the lifting of two court injunctions and legal threats against two farmers, Cllr Padraig Brady and Colm Leonard, was welcome.  The fact that these injunctions remained in place was petty and mean spirited.

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IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan said co-ops had failed to fairly reflect improved market returns for a few months.  This was angering farmers and could only be explained by co-ops’ rebuilding balance sheets after supporting farmers in 2018 and showing no ambition for spring 2020 milk prices.

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IFA President Joe Healy said that the petty behaviour of Larry Goodman’s ABP group and the unwillingness of the Minister to take charge of the situation has resulted in farmer frustration boiling over.

“The Government assist ABP in many ways through various Government Departments and State agencies. The Minister has to make it clear that he will not allow the Goodman Group to hold the beef sector to ransom,” he said.

If the Minister can’t get movement on these issues, then the Taoiseach needs to get involved.

“We need the legal threats lifted and Taskforce to meet urgently.  The Minister needs to be there himself to ensure that progress is made,” he said.

It’s clear that the new Beef Price Index shows that Irish prices are 17c/kg behind prices in our main export markets, and this is being pocketed by the factories. The real issue for all farmers on the ground is that beef prices are increasing in every other country except Ireland and farmers feel exploited.

With the week of wet weather just passed and no settled weather forecasted, it is most likely that a lot of the crop that remains in the ground will not be lifted until next spring. Reports around the country indicate that a lot of growers still have 15%-20% of crop left to harvest.

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Pig factories are holding firm on quotes, with €2/kg remaining elusive to most pig farmers. Quotes range from a low of €1.94c/kg but most farmers report receiving between €1.96-1.98c/kg.

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