Slurry extension talks continue as factories squeeze finishers
Confirmation that the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, is attempting to get a further extension on the slurry spreading deadline beyond Wednesday of next week will be welcomed by farmers throughout the country.
Speaking at last week's CAP information meetings, the minister confirmed that officials in his department had been in contact with their counterparts in the Department of the Environment to see if a further extension was possible. Farmers will be praying for a positive response.
To matters of equal importance, farmers feel totally let down, insulted and betrayed by the processors as they squeeze the life out of Irish finishers.
Here in Ireland, R grade steer prices are 380c/kg while across the water in Britain, the factories are willing to pay around 80c/kg more for a similar animal. It absolutely beggars belief how this can be allowed to happen, but it is and for quite a while at this stage.
The base for steers remains at 380-385c/kg, with heifers at 395-400c/kg, even though there are a few plants trying to quote as low as 390c/kg.
Prices for stock in the northwest are running higher, with in-spec R grade steers making 402c/kg and heifers making 408c/kg. A 400c/kg quote for heifers is more common in the northeast.
Many farmers are doing deals with factories in the north and anyone I have spoken to said it was well worth their while. As well as negotiating significantly higher prices, deals are also being done on transport costs.
Back to the south again and deals of 400-402c/kg for U grade bulls have and are being done, while the quotes are generally at 395c/kg with some sticking to the 390c/kg.