Teagasc Offaly has invited all farm families to attend a beef and sheep seminar titled ‘Practical Advice for a Challenging Time’.

The event will take place in The Tullamore Court Hotel on Wednesday, November 13, and will commence at 7:00pm.

The organisers of the event have said “this is a particularly difficult time for both beef and sheep farming enterprises, and a seminar to address some of the most challenging issues is timely”.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mark Coyne, Teagasc Tullamore, said: “Poor prices, difficulty getting livestock slaughtered and uncertainty about the future direction of the industry are to the fore in drystock farmers’ minds.

“In addition, the ongoing Brexit saga is not helping farmer or industry confidence,” he added.

The main seminar will have three key speakers:
  • Aidan Murray, Teagasc livestock specialist;
  • Joe Burke, Bord Bia;
  • Declan Mc Evoy, IFAC.

Teagasc’s Aidan Murray will offer practical advice to farmers for the coming months.

Decisions such as whether to finish cattle this winter or not, choice of feed ingredients or the type of cattle to buy back in will be addressed.

He outlined: “Beef and sheep markets remain depressed and farmers are uncertain of where price may be for beef and sheep in the short to medium term.”

Bord Bia’s Joe Burke will give a forecast on the market outlook for beef and lamb over the next number of months.

He acknowledged: “Managing cash-flow and meeting payments are a particular challenge where farmers have received a poor price for stock, or cannot get livestock slaughtered.”

Declan Mc Evoy, senior advisor with IFAC, will offer tips on how best to deal with cash-flow, debt management and loan restructuring.

He will also outline the possible tax implications of making changes to your farming system in response to poor prices, such as selling livestock and not buying back stock.

Following the main seminar and a break for refreshments, Teagasc will provide a number of advisors to meet farm families on a one-to-one basis.

Teagasc advisor Paul Fox said: “There are a lot of concerns and individual problem cases on drystock farms around the county.

We are providing an opportunity where farmers can meet advisors and get practical advice for their own farm.

Concluding, he outlined: “We recognise that it is important that farmers feel we are there to help during difficult times.”

The event is free of charge and open to all farm families in the midlands region.