|Pig farmers protest outside the Department of Agriculture|
IFA welcomes clarity on new Tillage Incentive Scheme
IFA submission to the Food Vision Dairy Group
Upcoming deadlines and the latest market reports
Engagement Continuing on Proposal to Secure Future of Pig Sector
IFA met the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue this week to discuss the proposal to secure the future of the pig sector. The Minister attended Tuesday’s protest and spoke with the IFA President Tim Cullinan, the Chair of the IFA Pigs Committee Roy Gallie and pig farmers.
Tim Cullinan said the sector’s entire future hangs in the balance and there has to be urgent Government action to support pig farmers.
“We are staring into the abyss here. Our pig sector is an important part of agriculture in this country, contributing nearly €1bn in exports. However, the sector cannot survive a projected loss of €160m in 2022,” he said.
Roy Gallie said the situation could not be more stark. “We are caught in a devastating price/cost squeeze. Some farmers have already culled breeding sows and more are suspending production. They cannot produce with losses of over €50 per pig, and rising.”
“If the Government wants a pig sector, it must act now. We are at the point where farmers are exiting. If more go, then the upstream and downstream businesses become unviable and then the sector will be gone. It is that serious,” he said.
Immediate Pig Price Increase Needed to Offset Record Losses
IFA National Pigs Committee Chair Roy Gallie is calling on processors to deliver a very significant price increase for pig farmers tomorrow.
“Pig farmers have been haemorrhaging money since September 2021 and losses have risen to €40 per pig sold,” he said.
Since the introduction of the IFA’s DNA scheme, the Irish pig price has been at the European average.
“We are currently 30c/kg below it. Farmers need an immediate price increase given the very serious crisis in the sector,” he said.
Cashflows now are unsustainable. This is an extremely urgent situation. Roy Gallie is calling on all processors to announce a 30c/kg rise tomorrow to restore the Irish pig market to the European average level.
IFA Grain Chairman Welcomes Clarity on new Tillage Scheme
IFA National Grain Chairman Kieran McEvoy has welcomed the official launch of the €10m Tillage Incentive Scheme by the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue. He said the provision of funds towards the increased production of tillage crops in this country was much needed and long overdue. He also welcomed the fact that there was no provision in the scheme to apply a linear cut if the scheme is oversubscribed.
“It’s important that the Minister includes everybody who answers the call to plant more crops. With the unseasonably warm temperatures in March, land has dried out well across the country and we would encourage farmers to consider planting tillage crops under the terms and conditions of this scheme,” Kieran McEvoy said.
Suckler and Beef Farmers Must be Supported at Critical Time for Sector
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said we are at a critical time of year for suckler and beef farmers, where key decisions will determine the supply of beef for the next three years.
“These decisions require a commitment from the suckler farmer to maintain the cow until she has reared the calf to weaning in the back end of 2023, which is 18 months away. The uncertainty around availability and costs of inputs such as feed, fertiliser and fuel will play a huge role in this decision making,” he said.
Price Rises not Covering Soaring Costs on Sheep Farms
IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said hogget and cull ewe prices have risen again this week, but they have not kept pace with the cost increases incurred by sheep farmers. He said market demand is strong for sheep meat with the start of Ramadan and Easter approaching. Supplies are tight and factories have had to move prices on.
Deals to €7.50/kg and above are available at this stage, with no talk of weight cuts as factories try to close out deals. Cull ewes are making up to €4.00/kg. The limited numbers of spring lamb on offer are coming in at €8.00/kg in general, with some deals above this.
IFA Submission to Food Vision Dairy Group
IFA has been participating in the Food Vision Dairy Group. Ahead of its final report, we have prepared a submission on behalf of dairy farmers. In the submission, IFA sets out the importance of the dairy sector to the rural economy.
IFA Member Services
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IFA Environmental & Rural Affairs Committee Chair Paul O’Brien and IFA Senior Policy Executive Geraldine O’Sullivan attended the COPA Working Party on Environment on Monday. IFA Policy Executive Sarah Hanley participated in the Commission’s Civil Dialogue Meeting on the Pigmeat Sector also on Monday.
IFA Aquaculture Executive Teresa Morrissey organised a meeting on Tuesday with the Commission to discuss competitiveness of the Organic Salmon Sector in the EU and was joined by MOWI Ireland’s Jan Feenstra along with Pat Connors and Gerry O’Donoghue from Mannin Bay Organic Salmon.
IFA Livestock Chair Brendan Golden and Senior Policy Executive Tomas Bourke attended the Copa Working Group on Beef on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Brendan participated in the Commission Civil Dialogue on Beef. He highlighted the unsustainable impact on the cost side for the sector this year and the risk of this continuing into 2023. Michael Scannell (DG Agri) provided the market report.
IFA Director of European Affairs Liam MacHale attended the French Farmers’ Organisation (FNSEA) 76th Annual Congress in Besancon He met with the Irish Agriculture Attaché to France Mr Colm O’Cribín and discussed the French Egalim 2 Law addressing Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain.
IFA Rural Development Chair Michael Biggins and Senior Policy Executive Denis Griffin attended the COPA Working Group meeting on Rural Development on Thursday.
This week in Brussels
Monday 4th April
- IFA Pig Chair Roy Gallie and Policy Executive Sarah Hanley will attend the COPA Working Group meeting on Pigmeat.
- The European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee will meet in Strasbourg and will hold an exchange of views with Commissioner Wojciechowski on Food Security
Tuesday 5th April
- IFA Pig Chair Roy Gallie will attend the Commission Civil Dialogue meeting on the Pig Sector.
- The Commission are due to publish their proposal for the Industrial Emissions Directive.
Wednesday 6th April
- IFA Director of European Affairs Liam MacHale will attend the COPA POCC meeting of the Office representatives of the European Farming Associations.
- IFA Policy Executive Sarah Hanley will attend the Pigmeat Sector Reflection Group meeting.
Thursday 7th April
- Agriculture Ministers will meet in Luxembourg for an Agriculture Council meeting to discuss the market situation and in particular the invasion of Ukraine and the Commission Communication on Food Security.
A Look Ahead
|Thursday 7th April|
IFA Aquaculture Conference & AGM takes place in Hotel Westport,
Westport, Co Mayo
Launch of IFA Milk Price Analysis
Upcoming Deadline Notice
Multi Species Swards Measure – Monday, April 4th 2022
The Department of Agriculture launched The Multi Species Swards Measure which isthe first element from the package of measures announced earlier this week to provide support to Irish farmers. Apply through agfood.ie by Monday, April 4th 2022.
For more information, read the measure’s outline 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 are expired and need to be renewed please contact the department’s helpdesk.
Latest Market Reports
Grain Market Update
Grain prices dropped to the lowest position in four weeks on Tuesday March 29th but have recovered some ground in the days since (AHDB). Glanbia green feed prices fell €3/t this week for wheat and barley. Markets continue to be very receptive to the war in Ukraine and especially to news of any peace talks.
News from the USDA on planting intentions saw markets recover. US farmers are projected to sow 4% less maize in 2022 and replace this with a record area of soybeans. With reduced production expected in Ukraine, North American maize crops are critical in setting the tone for global maize supply and availability (AHDB).
Beef Market Report
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef price rises are failing to keep pace with prices in our key markets. He said UK and EU beef prices have risen strongly over the past week, reflecting the strength of demand for beef.
Brendan Golden said market conditions justify a significant increase in beef price and he advised farmers to sell hard. There’s up to 15c/kg of a difference between quotes and what factories are prepared to pay when pushed.
Sheep Market Update
IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said factory demand for sheep meat is extremely strong driven by Ramadan and Easter. He said factory agents are very active in the marts for hoggets and cull ewes.
Kevin Comiskey said numbers of spring lamb remain tight. He said market demand is outstripping supplies and further strengthening in prices is warranted to fully reflect market conditions.
Potato Market Update
Consumption has improved slightly over the past two weeks, however; it is still behind last year when lockdown measures were in place. This is particularly evident for native varieties. Growers have continued plantings this week as ground conditions have improved drastically following the latest burst of dry weather.
It is reported that many growers will be forced to cut back on planted acreage of 2022 crops due to input costs. Growers currently storing potatoes are experiencing significant costs due to the rise in energy, these spiralling costs must be recognised and paid for by potato packers and retailers.
Pig Market Update
Irish pig prices seen slight increases in the larger ROI plants this week with farmers. Some processing plants have increased quoted prices by up to 20c/kg which is certainly a step in the right direction for those farmers, but with input costs continuing to spiral out of control, farmers require substantially larger increases on the price they receive for their pigmeat to help slow the unsustainable rate at which farmers are losing money.