DAERA to review office access

DAERA is likely to review its policy on public access to its offices soon, a department spokeswoman has said.

Since June 2021, all DAERA direct offices have only been open to the public on an appointment basis.

“I am keen that the DAERA direct offices are more accessible to our customers and, subject to the easing of Executive restrictions, immediate consideration will be given to the reopening of our offices to members of the public without appointments,” the spokeswoman confirmed.

Virtual arable conference

A virtual conference for arable growers in NI is to be held over two evenings. The webinars are organised by CAFRE, the Ulster Arable Society, AHDB and the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

The first event, on Tuesday 1 February, is about understanding carbon in arable rotations.

The second, on Tuesday 8 February, will look at nitrogen use efficiency and biopesticides. Both events start at 8pm and registration is available at www.ufuni.org/events

TB compensation to cost £26m

The cost of removing reactors at TB tests is likely to be around £26m in the current financial year, up from £22.3m in the previous 12 months, DAERA officials confirmed during a meeting with the Stormont Agriculture committee last Thursday.

“It’s just the nature of the disease. The levels of the incidence go up and down over time. This is higher than it has been for a while,” said Roger Downey from DAERA.

187 respond to women in ag survey

There were 187 responses to a survey conducted by MLAs on the Stormont Agriculture committee on the challenges that women face in the farming sector. The committee plans to hold an online event on 3 February involving farm and rural organisations, along with a selection of survey respondents.

It will explore the top three challenges facing women, and how they can be overcome.

Dunbia to carbon benchmark 500 farms

Dunbia will measure the carbon footprint of 500 farmer suppliers as part of a £1m project that aims to help the meat processor reduce emissions from its supply chain.

The 500 carbon footprints will be used to calculate a representative measure of emissions for the 20,000 UK farms that supply Dunbia.

“The aim is to support farmers and increase the adoption of practices which both reduce emissions and deliver efficiencies.

“By working together to achieve our climate targets, we will create a sustainable beef and lamb supply chain which is fit for the future,” said Dunbia’s Michael Doran.