|Reaction To Government Pig Sector Support Package|
Suckler and Beef Sector Exposed By Inputs Crisis
National Community Engagement Day Launched
IFA Submission For Draft River Basin Management Plan
EU Commission’s Response To Fertiliser Crisis
Upcoming Deadlines & Latest Market Reports
IFA Reaction to Govt Support Package for Pig Sector
IFA President Tim Cullinan has acknowledged the support from Government for pig farmers, with a package of €13m in funding announced. The IFA President said IFA will be assessing the details of the package brought forward. He said it would be important that there is no unrealistic conditionality attached to the scheme.
Tim Cullinan said any attempt to impose a mandatory reduction on farmers would be totally opposed by IFA. “We have seen the difficulties this has created with the BEAM Scheme. It seems the Dept has failed to learn any lessons from this. While any funding is welcome, I am concerned that it will not be enough to stop departures from the sector. We are in real danger of losing a whole sector,” he said.
Suckler and Cattle Farmers Most Exposed by Inputs Increases
FA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the updated Outlook for 2022 published by Teagasc this week clearly sets out the challenges for the suckler and beef sector and the urgent need for immediate action from the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to support farmers in our most vulnerable sectors.
Suckler and beef farms are facing a significant drop in income this year which will have severe implications for the sector if urgent supports are not provided. “Production costs on suckler and finishing farms are projected to increase by 24% and 30% respectively,” Brendan Golden said.
Lakeland Milk Price Management Scheme Penalising Farmers
IFA Dairy Chairman Stephen Arthur said it’s really disappointing to see a scheme unduly penalising farmers for producing milk at the most economically favourable time of the year, especially with spiralling input costs. “Milk produced from grazed grass is our competitive advantage here in Ireland and this must be prioritised at all times.”
This proposed scheme from Lakeland Dairies raises a number of serious questions. First and foremost, why is there a need for this scheme to be launched at a time when milk supply is back in Ireland and globally, with spiralling input costs, this trend looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future.
IFA Extends Contract of Director General
The IFA has extended the contract of its Director General Damian McDonald. In line with current employment regulations, the contract is of indefinite duration, with a clause agreed to end the contract, should it be required.
The Organisation’s Remuneration Committee reviewed the salary of the Director General. It decided it would increase to €215,998 in line with the pay scale for the Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The Committee also reviewed the salaries of the positions of President and Deputy President. These salaries have remained the same since 2016. These salaries will now increase to €140,000 and €40,000, respectively.
IFA Welcomes Extension to Deadline for Nitrates Derogation Application
IFA Environment Chair Paul O’Brien has welcomed the extension to the 2022 Nitrates Derogation application deadline until midnight Friday, April 22nd.
“The extra week will provide much needed time for farmers wishing to apply for a derogation to gather and prepare the information required to submit the online application,” he said.
Horticulture Aid Package Needs Further Clarification
IFA Field Vegetable and Protected Crops Vice Chairman Martin Flynn said the Govt aid package for horticulture is a positive step, but soft fruit growers have been excluded.
“The package falls short of what is needed, given the huge input surge in the sector. In addition, it appears soft fruit growers have been inexplicably excluded. Soft fruit growers do not appear to be included and IFA is looking for clarity on this. The soft fruit sector is worth approx. €51m at farm gate. The producers are struggling with the same level of inflationary input costs as all other sectors. They must be included for funding under the proposed scheme,” he said.
Increase in TAMS Investment Limit to €200,000 Important for Poultry Farms
IFA Poultry Chairman Nigel Sweetnam said the decision to increase the TAMS investment limit on poultry farms to €200,000 will help farmers upgrade their farms. He said IFA had campaigned for the increase to better reflect the scale of investment needed on farms. The existing limit was €80,000.
“Given the very real income difficulties on poultry farms at the moment, every support has to be made available to farmers. TAMS is an important scheme which allows farmers to improve their production system,” he said.
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National Community Engagement Day
On Wednesday 27th April, An Garda Síochána, IFA and the members of the National Rural Safety Forum will invite local community members to partake in the National Community Engagement Day.
The day, last held in 2020 will involve over 800 communities from across the country meeting with their local Gardaí and community representatives to discuss matters of importance to them such as rural safety, crime prevention and security. The meetings will be informal and will last approximately one hour.
A list of venues and times will be shared next week, so keep an eye on the An Garda Síochána website for more information.
National Council Returns to Farm Centre
The Irish Farm Centre welcomed back IFA National Council this week for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19. There was a large attendance, while some members of Council also attended virtually.
Executive Summary of Submission for the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027
IFA have submitted a proposal for the public consultation on the Draft River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022 – 2027. IFA are calling on the plan to fully recognise the investment and positives changes that have been taking place on farms in recent years. Not just driven by regulation but also driven by increased understanding, awareness and desire to farm more sustainably.
EU Commission’s Response to Fertiliser Crisis Lacks Concrete Short-Term Actions
In an article recently published by COPA-COGECA, IFA President and COPA Vice-President Tim Cullinan discusses the EU Commission’s response to the crisis surrounding fertiliser. The IFA President said that building a long-term European fertiliser policy will is key step to limit our reliance on imported farm inputs, increase food chain resilience and improve global food security.
However, decision makers must also address short term threats and take immediate, emergency action to facilitate fertiliser imports and avoid predictable shortages of this critical input in the months to come.
A Look Ahead
|Wednesday 20th April|
IFA Organic Project Team Meeting.
Wednesday 27th April
National Community Engagement Day will take place around the country. This event is co-hosted by the IFA and An Garda Síochána.
Thursday 28th April
COPA meeting in Brussels which IFA President Tim Cullinan will attend.
Animal Health Committee Meeting
Upcoming Deadline Notice
Nitrates Derogation Application – Friday 22nd April 2022
The deadline to apply for Nitrates Derogation has been extended to Friday, 22nd April 2022. Farmers not already registered for agfood.ie can do so by logging onto www.agfood.ie and clicking the ‘Register’ button.
Organic Farming Scheme – Friday 22nd April 2022
The deadline for the Organic Farming Scheme has been extended to the Friday, 22nd April 2022. To find out more about the scheme, visit here.
Basic Payment Scheme – Monday 16th May 2022
The deadline for Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is just over a month away. You must apply by midnight on Monday, 16th May 2022. You must apply online by logging in or registering at www.agfood.ie.
If your login or password has expired and they need to be renewed, please contact the Department’s helpdesk.
Latest Market Reports
Grain Market Report
New crop grain prices have increased significantly again this week, with the gap between spot prices and September/November futures dropping significantly compared to recent weeks. Markets remain heavily influenced by the ongoing war in Ukraine with no indications of a cease fire to date.
Beef Market Report
Demand strong. Prices up 5c/kg. Steer base €4.80/4.90/kg. Heifer base €4.85/4.95/kg. Young Bulls R/U €4.75/4.95/kg. Higher prices and flat deals for larger and specialised lots. Cows €4.00/€4.70/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.
Potato Market Update
Plantings continue around the country with good conditions reported in most regions. Some growers have finished or are nearing completion in the South East region following a dry spell of weather. Consumption has improved slightly in the past week following a colder period. Again, growers storing potatoes are incurring huge increased costs due to soaring energy bills. These costs must be recognised at packer and retail level.