JULY 2018 www.irishfarmersmonthly.com Contents AVAILABLE ONL THROUGH Y www.irishfarmersmonthly.com JULY 2018 Editorial Muddling through Brexit Britain continues to muddle its way through one of the most important negotiations the country has engaged in since since World War Two. While joining the EEC in 1973 was seen as a significant decision move for Britain, the implications of leaving are far greater. The then ‘Common Market’ was a far smaller and less encompassing entity than it is today. It must be remembered that the Common Agricultural Policy was the single most important policy then in force across the six-nation EEC. The addition of Britain, Denmark and Ireland to the economic grouping did not greatly change its structure. Compare that to today with 28 disparate member states, a fully operational Customs Union and Single Market, considerable social and regional policy developments, trade deals aross the globe and wealth and population that make the European Union a consumer market matched only by the USA. Forty-four years of integration in trade, legal and regulatory standards means that extraction from the EU is extraordinarily complicated. Not only that but the theoretical benefits for Britain of reestablishing a degree of economic independence from the EU have never really been weighed against the practical benefits of remaining a member of one of the richest consumer markets on the globe. Is that fact beginning to dawn on the British establishment, most notably the business sector? There has been much criticism of British prime minister Theresa May. Seeking a personal mandate to govern last year is now seen as an opportunistic and mistaken decision. However, if she had secured a majority then it would have been seen as a master stroke, allowing her to negotiate without looking over her shoulder at the various pro and anti Brexit dissidents. As it was, she appointed several prominent Brexiteers to cabinet. Inside the tent they are somewhat compromised and less strident in their opposition to continued association with the EU. So, she muddles on and edges closer to the kind of compromises that will serve Ireland well if they can be brought to fruition. The Irish Government continues to use the Border between the Republic and Northern Ireland as a special interest in the EU/UK negotiations. So far that case has been prioritised by Barnier and Co. Ultimately that may help secure a trading arrangement with the UK that is tari -free. This must be the real economic goal. A frictionless border is politically important but economically secondary to the continuation of unimpeded access to the British mainland for our goods and services. Compared to Irish agriculture, there is no other sector as exposed to the damage that would be caused by the erection of trade tari s between Ireland/EU and Britain. While strides have been made to diversify Irish dairy and beef exports as far as the USA and China, it is unthinkable that our single largest market, a few miles across the Irish Sea, would become uneconomic to service. In that event the implications for trade in both commodities throughout the EU would be considerable. Dumping product onto the European mainland would depress dairy and beef farmgate prices across the EU. It must be hoped that this scenario has already been realised by EU negotiators, who must be willing to make the necessary compromises with Britain that ensure the continuation of unimpeded trade between that country and Ireland, at least. While continuous postponements of a Brexit deal are better than an adverse deal from Ireland’s viewpoint, the ongoing uncertainty over the endgame is bad for business. Animal Health Focus TWO-TRACK FARMING – THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN DAIRY AND OTHER SECTORS DR PADDY WALL ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SECURING MARKETS 6 8 10 13 14 18 42 48 59 60 62 63 64 65 66 Upfront News Business News Education Cover Story Dr Paddy Wall on customers Farmview Management Hints Machinery Farm Safety Safe practices in marts Rural Life Books Competition Motoring ICMSA Very End Animal Health Focus 22 Maintaining good milk production. 24 Monitoring for optimum parasite control 29 Communication in the veterinary practice 34 IBR and AI bulls 36 Animal health surveillance 37 Fly season is here 40 BVD control 41 Anthelmintic resistance Editor: Matt O’Kee e Editorial Director: Miriam Atkins Sheep Editor: Gerry Murphy Tillage Editor: Jim O’Mahony Machinery: Noel Dunne Motoring: Bernard Potter Journalist: Bernie Commins Design: Barry Sheehan Production: Ciaran Brougham Martin Whelan Michael Ryan Niall O’Brien Advertising Manager: John Sheehan Commercial and Advertising Manager: Anna Douglas Accounts: Tricia Murtagh Administration & Subscriptions: Sue Nolan Chief Executive: Rebecca Markey Printing: W&G Baird Publishers: IFP Media Subscription: €40 per annum Irish Farmers Monthly, Castlecourt, Glenageary, Co. 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