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Farm & Food Apr 2017

Published: Apr 18, 2017
  • Ireland has secured a new beef deal with Saudi Arabia that will, on top of what is already being exported currently, allow now for processed, cooked, minced and bone-in beef.  Saudi Arabia is Ireland’s 3rd largest non-EU destination food exports.  In 2013 Ireland exported €92m to SA and in 2016 this had risen to €136m. 
  • Thousands of GLAS & AEOS payments to farmers may not be paid until summer.  Close to 8,500 farmers are due payments totalling €25m with the Department of Agriculture allegedly not giving a timeframe for when the payments will be made. 
  • The average tillage farm is expected to earn an income of just €22,000 or €350 per hectare by 2020 as input prices are due to increase 5% and yields dropping by 3%.  This is according to a Teagasc survey.  It is reported that the tillage sector is unsustainable at this level.
  • Glanbia is expected to pay its dairy farmers 31c/l VAT inclusive for February.  It will also pay 4.25c/l VAT inclusive for an Early Lactation Bonus as part of a three year seasonality scheme.  This will be paid from mid-Jan to end of Feb.  There will also be a Late Lactation Bonus paid during November.  Lakeland Dairies will pay 31.28c/l.
  • The RSA has proposed NCT for tractors every 4 years, and then every 2 years over a certain level.  5 penalty points may be issued if using a tractor that has not been subject to an NCT.  The IFA and ICMSA are opposing these proposals saying they are unnecessary and over-regulated.
  • Due to attempts to stop the spread of bird flu in Ireland, birds laying previously free-range eggs will now be housed indoors and have their eggs relabelled ‘barn eggs’.  The status of the eggs can be changed back to free range once the order is lifted. 
  • The IFA is reported to have lost €1.4m in revenue due to dwindling membership and levy payments.  It comes on the back of the controversy surrounding high-paying salaries for management in 2015. 
  • Some 3,500 dairy farmers are expected to receive their Voluntary Supply Management Scheme (milk reduction scheme) payments this week, totally €6.5m.  The EU Commission brought in the scheme in 2016 to help decrease milk supplies in order to stop prices sliding further.  This in turn helped boost milk prices by putting pressure on processors & retailers to give farmers a better price.  

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