Teagasc Westmeath/Offaly have organised a Winter Beef Seminar which will be held in The Tullamore Court Hotel on Thursday, November 10 at 8pm. The event is timely as it comes when beef and cattle prices are at an all time high, and the outlook for the cattle trade looks positive for 2012.
But according to Paul Fox, Teagasc advisor, farmers need to focus more than ever on the real profit which their farm is generating. High cattle prices does not necessarily translate to higher profit as the increasing cost of store cattle, feed, fertiliser and fuel eats into their margin.
With this in mind, improving farm profit is the major focus of the event. Speakers on the night will include Chris Mc Carthy, a Westmeath Suckler farmer who will present his five-point plan to profitable suckling. Dr. Eddie O’Riordan from Teagasc Grange will outline the most efficient and profitable systems for finishing cattle while Joe Burke from Bord Bia will discuss the likely market price and demand for these finished cattle next spring.
Farmers who finish cattle are now familiar with the QPS (Quality Payment system) or ‘Cattle Grid’. At the seminar, Declan Kealy of Dawn Meats will explain the common reasons why farmers do not maximise their return from the QPS system, and will outline practical advice on how farmers can cash in on better prices and retain more of the finished animal price as profit.
This seminar will cover the issues that affect the Suckler farmer, store buyer and cattle finishers and is not to be missed.
Meanwhile Teagasc have organized a series of seminars/meetings on the important issues involved in Cross Compliance and farm inspections across the midlands in the coming days with two of the events taking place in Offaly.
On November 15 the Teagasc Centre in Tullamore will be the venue at 8pm while at the same time on November 17 there will be seminars in the Teagasc Centres in Birr and Mullingar.
Con Feighery Manager of the Teagasc Advisory Service in Westmeath/Offaly commented, “Farmers will have the opportunity to learn more about DAMF farm inspections and what to do on their own farms to reduce penalties”
Bernard Doorley, Teagasc Office Tullamore remarked, “ This is an event not be missed because of the importance of ensuring that farmers are aware of what is involved during a Cross Compliance/Nitrates inspection on their farm. Direct payments are more important than ever for farmers. It’s important that in the event of a farm inspection that everything is in order to ensure that all these payments come on time and are paid in full.”
Mark Coyne, Teagasc Office Tullamore stressed the importance of this event.
“Many farmers believe that a Farm Inspection will never take place on their farm. The reality is that the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine must carry out inspections every year on farms. Irregularities during an inspection could lead to penalties being imposed on the Single Farm Payment, REPS, AEOS and DAS payments. A DAFF inspection can take place on any farm at any time during the year and includes all farmers big and small.”
Tim Hyde, Environment Specialist with Teagasc has noticed an increased level of penalties amongst farmers over the past few months.
“There seems to be a higher level of farmers receiving penalties on the SFP, REPS, AEOS and DAS payments due to these inspections”.
18% of farmers inspected are penalised while the average penalty per farm is €663.
Farmers who have expired or are due to expire in REPS 3 should also attend the event to look at planning their fertiliser for 2012.
The main areas of non-compliance breaches that will be discussed at the meeting are Cattle, Nitrates, Sheep, GAEC, Pesticides, Food Hygiene, New land drainage and reclamation regulations.