background image
Positive outlook for 2018
Irish agriculture enters 2018 in reasonably good shape. New markets
are opening up, slowly but surely, and there is good reason to believe
that even greater market access will be secured during the coming year.
International dairy markets remain strong and milk prices should hold
up well until at least mid-year. Beef prices continue to hold steady
around the 4/kg mark. This is despite the kill figures almost tipping
40,000 per week in early December. That stability augers well for the
early months of 2018, especially if numbers of finished cattle come
back from the near record-setting slaughter figures of November and
December. Likewise, sheep prices were stable at the end of last year.
Expanding continental markets for Irish sheepmeat, most notably
in Germany, are helping to keep demand and supply in balance, so
there is reason for optimism in this sector too in the coming period.
Pig prices are leaving producers in profit, and not before time. The
efficiency and endurance of our pig producers are quite remarkable
and could provide a template for every other food production sector.
The continuing low grain price across the globe is driving down acreage
in Ireland. A viable tillage sector in this country is essential to provide
our livestock enterprises with some security of grain supply and to
provide ready access to straw for feed and bedding as well as for our
mushroom industry. The continuing expansion in distilling and craft
brewing means that there will be an increasing demand for quality
malting barley. There needs to be a full awareness that Irish whiskey
and beer must contain Irish ingredients, most especially Irish produced
malt. An ongoing supply of that malt will be predicated on a pricing
structure that leaves a decent profit for the grower.
Our poultry, horticulture and vegetable sectors continue to be driven
by tight margins and extraordinary quality and supply demands, which
are only met because of the superb efficiency and professionalism
of growers. One area of disappointment going into 2018 is that our
afforestation programme continues to fall behind. Forestry offers
quite decent returns and long-term income prospects for growers.
At a national level, we need more forestry to assist in meeting our
sequestration and greenhouse gas emission targets. Any mental
blockage against planting trees needs to be discarded and we need to
consider the negative impact that the `planting forever' policy may be
having on farmers considering planting some of their land.
Confidence and optimism are necessary aspects of farming.
Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the challenges ahead. We note that
the proposed Mercosur deal is only postponed, not cancelled. The
EU's beef import offer could have serious implications for European,
and especially, Irish beef producers. Likewise, Brexit continues to
exercise minds. After the December hiccups, negotiations are at least
set to resume in the early months of 2018. Is there a slowly dawning
awareness on the part of some influencers in the UK that a continuing
close association with the EU is in everyone's interest? We must
certainly hope that is the case.
The first few months of 2018 will be critical on Irish farms. The
increase in dairy cow numbers means more work, longer hours and
greater potential for things to go wrong in terms of personal safety,
animal husbandry and environmental care. There needs to be constant
vigilance to keep ourselves safe on farms and we also need to ensure
that there is no reason for the public to lower its appreciation of Irish
farming standards.
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
JANUARY
CONTENTS
Editor:
Matt O'Kee e
Editorial Manager:
Kennas Fitzsimons
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
Senior 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. Dublin.
Tel: +353 1 7096900 e-mail: kennas tzsimons@ifpmedia.com
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Copyright IFP Media 2017. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the express written permission of the publishers.
22 Immunity and nutrition
26 Spring calving 2018
30 Driving healthy performance
CALF REARING FOCUS >
34 Massey: the Irish connection
36 Tractor listings 2018
TRACTOR GUIDE >
4 Up Front
7 News
10 Business News
12 Cover Story
Interview with EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan
14 Education
16 Farmer to Farmer
18 Farmview
20 DAFM
Minister Michael Creed on future opportunities
21 Events
PAC International Conference
64 Management Hints
70 Machinery
82 Farm safety
83 ICMSA
84 Rural Life
Bats: the farmer's friends
86 Books
87 Competition
88 Motoring
90 Very End
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
JANUARY 2018
A
VAILABLE ONLY THROUGH
AGRICULTURAL
GAME CHANGER
COMMISSIONER'S VISION FOR NEXT CAP
FBD
TRACTOR
GUIDE
INSIDE
GET READY FOR SPRING CALVING:
GUIDE TO BEST PRACTICE
MASSEY'S IRISH CONNECTION:
WILLIAM JUDGE INTERVIEW
IFM_January_2018.indd 1
21/12/2017 08:38
Quality
Farm cover and service at competitive prices
Up to 15% Farm Safety Discount*
Farm dwelling, outbuildings, livestock and liability insurance
Great deals on tractor and other farm machinery insurance
24 hour Claims Service
Flexible payment options
Multiple Farm policy and customer discounts
Over 100 years in the insurance business in Ireland
*Based on completion of Aviva's Farm Safety Questionnaire available from your local Insurance Broker
Aviva Insurance Limited, trading as Aviva, is authorised by the Financial Services Authority in the UK
and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland for conduct of business rules.
Talk to your local Insurance Broker today
Bringing you the best farm
cover for generations
Farm Insurance
from Aviva
D4298_Aviva Farm Insurance ETTG ad AW(2).indd 1
19/03/2013 15:36
Bringing you
quality farm cover at
competitive prices for generations
Talk to your local Insurance Broker today
4
Premium reductions for various farm safety procedures
4
Farm dwelling, outbuildings, livestock and liability insurance
4
Great deals on tractor and other farm machinery insurance
4
24 hour Claims Service
4
Flexible payment options
Aviva Insurance Limited trading as Aviva, is authorised by the Prudential Regulation
Authority in the UK and is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Farm Insurance
from Aviva
Farm_2_chaps_ad_IFM_200x283_2017.indd 1
24/11/2017 09:23
Aviva 200x283.indd 1
24/11/2017 12:46
IFM_January_2018.indd 3
21/12/2017 13:09