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IFA’s National Liquid Milk Committee has elected a new Chairman, Keith O’Boyle.

The new Chairman produces fresh milk for Aurivo, and farms with his wife Joanne and young children Adam, Sophie and Emma-Jane in Hollymount, Co. Mayo.

The voting was conducted via postal ballot using provisions granted by National Council, given the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19.

Keith O’Boyle said, “It is an honour to be elected Chair of the Committee. I have a hard act to follow in John Finn, who gave outstanding service to the liquid milk producers of Ireland over the past four years”.

“I believe the lockdown has given consumers a greater appreciation for locally produced, fresh, nutritious foods like our milk and cream. We need to grasp this renewed understanding of the importance of primary producers, and ensure that it is never again taken for granted,” he said.

“I will work in co-operation with the other IFA committees, especially the retail team, to put pressure on the Government and other stakeholders to ensure that liquid milk producers receive a fair share of retail returns. We urgently need the full implementation of the new Grocery Goods Regulations, including the prohibition of below-cost selling, and the promise in the new Programme for Government, long sought by IFA, of an independent Ombudsman to enforce them,” he said.

“The National Milk Agency has regulated the Irish fresh milk market since 1995. It is doing outstanding work, but its remit and legal powers need to be strengthened to ensure an even playing field for the entire liquid milk market, not just the 75% produced by the Republic of Ireland’s contracted suppliers,” he added.

“With the support of the National Liquid Milk Committee, I will be developing a strategy for liquid milk over the summer. I will meet with all of the dairies and retailers to make it clear that they must change their ways when it comes to liquid milk. They must recognise that their supposed commitment to sustainability must include the economic viability of liquid milk producers,” he concluded.

 

CAP/MFF Outcome

  • EU heads of state, including Taoiseach Michael Martin agreed an EU Budget for the next 7 years (2021 to 2027) in Brussels earlier this week. As well as a recovery package for the EU in response to the Covid-19 crisis, this plan also agreed the CAP Budget and a Brexit Adjustment Reserve of €5bn. The overall value of the Package was €1.8 trillion.
  • The final outcome is slightly better than the original Commission proposals At constant prices (adjusted for inflation) the CAP Budget was reduced from €382.8bn in 2014/2020 period to €243.9bn in 2021/2027 period, a reduction of 10.1%. In current prices (excluding inflation) the CAP Budget was maintained or slightly increased.
  • While the detailed breakdown of the CAP Budget figures for each individual country have yet to be provided by the Commission, the Taoiseach outlined to the Dail that the CAP Budget for Ireland had increased by €50m from €10.68bn (2014-2020) to €10.73bn (2021-2027) at current prices. However, Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has indicated that the reduced budget will lead to a 3% reduction in BPS (Basic payment Scheme) payments from 2021 onwards.
  • Member states have the opportunity of increasing the level of National co-financing under CAP Pillar II measures. The level of co-financing is a national decision and has been set at a standard 43% EU and 57% national funding. This is a major change compared to the last CAP programming period, when in Irelands case the level of co-financing was 54% EU and 46% national.
  • If the Irish Government co-finance at the national rate of 57%, it could leave a 7-year RDP worth €5.241bn (2021-2027) compared to €4.1bn in the last period (2014-2020).
  • The debate will now move quickly to the level of National co-financing the Irish Government is prepared to provide, which will be critical in terms of financing future farm schemes and farm incomes.
  • IFA has set a target that Direct Payments (both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2), should increase from the current annual level of €1.8bn to €2bn in the next CAP post 2020.

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As harvest 2020 progresses, IFA President Tim Cullinan has called on all stakeholders to support the Irish tillage sector.

“The sector contributes over €500m of farm gate value to the rural economy. It is of critical strategic importance to Ireland’s €13 bn livestock, dairy, food, drinks and mushroom export sectors,” he said.

According to the Teagasc National Farm Survey, tillage farm incomes fell by 15% in 2019 compared to 2018.

“This season tillage farmers have already endured a difficult winter followed by drought conditions in late spring which will have a negative impact on yield. The trade must return sustainable prices to grain farmers this harvest to prevent a further drop in farm income,” he said.

The area of Irish grain production is down 17% from 2012.

“There is a significant opportunity to increase this area to supply the expanding animal feed, drink and food sectors. However, Irish grain producers must be allowed to compete on a level playing field with imports. They must have access to a full range of plant protection products and new breeding techniques for the sector to thrive and expand, “he said.

The IFA President called on livestock farmers to maximise their use of Irish grain.

“Some feed merchants are producing rations which contain little or no Irish grain. The trade must promote the use of native cereals to support the sector,” he said.

“The tillage sector is heavily dependent on CAP payments. The recent EU decision to reduce the allocation for CAP by 9% at constant prices, will have serious consequences for the sector unless the Government comes forward with significant co-financing to protect payments,” he said.

Finally, the IFA President urged all farmers and contractors to put a renewed focus on farm safety this harvest.

“This time of year can be particularly stressful on tillage farms. However, it is vital to identify the risks before you undertake your work and ensure anyone working on your farm does the same,” he said.

 

Prices reported as quoted or paid to IFA Members

  • Numbers tight, prices rising.
  • Factories paying 5c/10c above quotes.
  • Steer base €3.70 – 3.75/kg.
  • Heifer base €3.75 – 3.80/kg.
  • Young Bulls R/U €3.70/€3.80kg.
  • Cows €2.90/3.50/kg.
  • In-spec bonus 20c/kg for under 30 months and 8c/kg for 30 to 36 months.
  • 12c/kg bonus for under 30 month steers and heifers grading O- and those with a fat class of 4+ that meet all other in spec criteria.
FACTORY BASE QUOTES C/KG
Steers Heifers Cows
Dawn Slane 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Kepak Athleague 375 375 300 – 340
Moyvalley Meats 370 370 300 – 330
Euro Farm Foods 370/375 375/380 300 – 350
ABP Clones 370/375 375/380
Liffey Meats 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Slaney Foods 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Kepak Kilbeggan 370/375 375 300 – 340
Dawn Ballyhaunis 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Ashbourne Meats 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Charleville Foods 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Kepak Watergrasshill 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
ABP Bandon 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
ABP Cahir 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
ABP Waterford 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Dawn Grannagh 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
ABP Nenagh 370/375 375/380 300 – 340
Farmers should insist on payment on the day for their cattle

Preliminarily results from the IFA early planting survey suggest that early plantings were slightly increased up some 3% on last year. Queens accounted for the slight increase in plantings, the area of Home Guard decreased slightly and Premier area remained static. The first crops of early Rooster should be harvested early to mid-August. The peeling market appears to be improving slightly as more restaurants are re-opening.

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