UFU arable & horticulture update

A potato field in Comber following the heavy rainfall.

Commodity watch by senior policy officer Patricia Erwin

Extreme flooding

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) leadership team have visited both potato and vegetable growers across the region to better understand the devastation on the ground following extreme flooding in cluster areas across Northern Ireland (NI).

Tragically, it is obvious that some growers in these areas will not be able to salvage some crops as a result of this extreme flooding incident.

On a visit to Comber, UFU deputy president John McLenaghan gave a commitment to growers that the UFU will raise awareness of this situation with government, political parities, the public and retailers, ensuring all understand the situation farmers are now facing.

UFU president David Brown had follow up meetings with politicians, DAERA, CAFRE and farmers ahead of Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris, announcing £15 million to help businesses recover in NI. The UFU have made it clear that some of this recovery allocation package must go to agriculture businesses. For this to happen, DAERA must be successful in securing a percentage of the money for our farmers who have lost their crops.

The UFU are progressing with meetings with retail to ensure the buyers understand the impact this extreme flooding has caused. This includes the longer-term implications for the local supply chain in NI and ultimately, our UFU members who produce these crops.

Glyphosate update

No qualified majority was reached in The Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) vote in Brussels. SCoPAFF plays a key role in ensuring that Union measures on food and feed safety, animal health and welfare as well as plant health, are practical and effective. It delivers opinions on draft measures that the Commission intends to adopt. The Committee is composed by representatives of all Member States and presided by a European Commission representative. It is important to note that the UK have no seat and no vote, and that NI must align with EU regulations.

The next important date for glyphosate is the appeals committee, scheduled for 15 November 2023. UFU and DAERA continue to monitor the situation.

UFU cereal competition

Top cereal grower awards 2023: The competition sponsors recently hosted and rewarded the top cereal growers for their knowledge, professionalism and commitment to the sector in what has been a challenging year for all growers.

  • UFU arable & horticulture update

    A potato field in Comber following the heavy rainfall.

  • UFU arable & horticulture update

    DAERA, CAFRE and local politicians assessing the damage with affected farmers.