30nov2 - Page 1



FARM
WEEK
WIN KUBOTA
BEST OF BREED AND A REALLY GOOD READ
NOVEMBER 30 2017 www.farmweek.com PRICE £1.30 (€2)
DAERA to
consult on
farmers
paying TB
test costs
By Terri Leonard
C
ATTLE farmers in
Northern Ireland
could be asked
to take on the cost of
their annual TB test
under a series of new
recommendations being
considered by DAERA.
The Department of
Agriculture has launched
a public consultation
today (Thursday,
November 30) which is
asking farmers for their
views on a raft of new
proposals designed to
help in the battle to wipe
out bovine TB in Northern
Ireland once and for all.
The consultation is
in response to a report
produced by the TB
Strategic Partnership
Group (TBSPG) in
December 2016.
As well proposing that
farmers pay for their
annual TB herd test,
the department makes
dozens of proposals,
including one that would
see compensation rates
gradually reduced, by
10 per cent in year one
and 25 per cent in year
two, with caps ultimately
placed on the amount
paid out for pedigree and
non-pedigree animals.
Increased use of Gamma
testing, action on
chronic herds and DNA
tagging by private vets
are also options put
forward for consultation.
o See page 9
RTV
400
SEE INSIDE
See page 81
Government’s
‘high-efficiency
agriculture’
plan to improve
food production
T
Williamsons’ Blue heifer is
Allams’ supreme champion
PRESTIGIOUS TITLE: Keith and Stephen Williamson from Benburb lifted the supreme
champion title at Allams’ Christmas beef show and sale on Tuesday evening at the
King’s Hall, Balmoral. Their 640kg Blue heifer sold for £4,000. Included are handler Tara
O’Brien, judge Sam Milliken and Richard Primrose from sponsor Bank of Ireland.
Report – See page 9
Winter series
begins at
Lisbane Farm
HE Government has
spelled out its desire
to see the UK become
a world leader in “highefficiency agriculture”,
championing farming and food
production as key drivers of
the country’s future economic
prosperity.
In its new Industrial Strategy
White Paper, published this
week, it signalled its commitment
to the sector by pledging to
bring innovation and precision
technologies to the forefront of its
future development.
The Government also promised
to bridge the gap between it
and the food supply chain by
setting up a Food and Drink
Sector Council which will include
industry leaders representing
every stage, including primary
producers.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union
says it is encouraged by the
inclusion of food production in the
Government paper and believes
Northern Ireland farmers are “up
to the challenge” of helping achieve
its ambitious goals for the future
of the country.
“The recognition that UK
food and farming can play
an even greater role in the
country’s economic prosperity is
positive and presents a genuine
opportunity for the industry,”
REPORT
By TERRI LEONARD
t.leonard@farmweek.com
said UFU Deputy President Ivor
Ferguson.
“Food and farming in the UK
already contributes £112 billion
to the economy and employs 3.8
million people. It is an important
industry and the White Paper
outlines some positive prospects
for developing it further,” he said,
adding that the UFU, along with its
UK farming union counterparts,
had made the case to Government
and politicians that food and
farming can deliver productive
and economic gains for the UK
and should therefore be included
in this major strategy paper.
He continued: “We are pleased to
see the Government championing
our industry and committing to its
future. Efficiency and innovation
are key themes in the paper and
it is encouraging to read of the
Government’s desire to see the UK
become a world leader in ‘highefficiency agriculture’. Northern
Ireland is already recognised as
a world class food producer and
I believe our farmers are up to
the challenge to help achieve this
ambitious goal.”
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