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almost half of Brazil’s total production. Overall, Latin America has moderate feed prices, but Brazil’s have increased this year. When compared to the U.S., Brazil’s feed prices are 20% higher for pigs and 40 per cent higher for layers and breeders. “Overall feed prices are down, and therefore food production costs are down,” said Connolly. “From a global perspective, we estimate the current value of the feed industry at US$460 billion.”

IN MY OPINION … RICHARD HALLERON The silence from Ireland’s compound animal feed industry, regarding the impact of Brexit on the sector, has been pretty deafening. This is very surprising, given the crucial role played by millers in working with both livestock and tillage farmers. Admittedly, Irish grain growers have not had their woes to seek in

recent times, given the weakened state of the world’s cereal markets. In fact, had it not been for the lift in straw prices since Christmas, the economics of the grain sector as a whole would be in a very parlous position today. Most of the grain produced in Ireland is fed on farm, sold on

a farm-to-farm basis or supplied to local millers for inclusion in compound rations. But significant quantities of grain, protein sources and other compound feed ingredients are either imported directly from the UK or indirectly sourced form a third country by way of a

British port. And then there is the issue of cross border trade within the island of Ireland, where compound feeds, grain and straw are concerned. How will these matters be affected by a Brexit deal? One which seems to becoming increasingly harder with each day that passes. Surely it would be helpful to get a perspective from the Irish Feed and Grain Association (IFGA) on how these factors will impact on Ireland’s millers during the period ahead. For its part Bord Bia is saying that it has lots of Brexit

contingencies in place but no definite plan drawn up on how Ireland’s farming and food sectors can best meet the challenges that lie ahead. These circumstances reflect the obvious fact that the UK has not yet laid its cards on the Brexit negotiating table. However, none of this prevents Ireland’s feed compounders from

confirming what might constitute the best possible Brexit deal for that industry. Is a free trade agreement between the UK and Europe the best deal in town or might something else fit the bill? Phil Hogan was in Ireland recently. He used the opportunity of

his visit to advise the Irish agri food sector on two important matters. Firstly, there is the need, as he sees it, for stakeholders to identify 6 or possibly 7 core Brexit priorities and, secondly, the necessity for these groupings to forge close working relationships with their counterparts in the other 26 remaining EU member states. I sense this advice is particularly applicable to those businesses making up Ireland animal feed sector.

An Appeal from the SFT for Information, Anecdotes and Pictures

Help to Preserve the History of the Feed Industry This year the Society of Feed Technologists celebrates its 50th

than 30,000 tonnes per annum. The graph shows the decline in feedmill numbers from 1965 to 1993 (when MAFF statistics changed its methodology). Feed mills throughout Ireland have also seen massive consolidation. The Society would like to commemorate all those feed mills that have ‘fallen’ by the wayside in the past five decades; from the mighty Nitrovit to the much smaller Oldacres, from ECF to Dalgety, not forgetting the co-ops and all the independents such as Sheldon Jones, etc. Can all 800 feed mills be named? What happened to them? Who owned which mill, who took over whom and when? SFT would like to construct a family tree of feed mills. One feed mill has had ten owners – is this a record? Your Help is Needed. Did you work for any of these fallen mills? From when to

when? Do you have any photos, anecdotes, stories, pamphlets, adverts, etc. Who was in charge? Why was it sold, closed, etc? Let’s preserve our industry’s history. It is a massive jigsaw puzzle – do you have a missing piece? Please help. Please send any photos (not originals please), information and anecdotes to Paul Poornan and we will attempt to

collate the jigsaw for a display at the June conference. Please pass this request on to any retired feed mill employees and help preserve our industry’s past for the benefit of those who will succeed us. Thank you

PAGE 28 MARCH/APRIL 2017 FEED COMPOUNDER birthday, and it will be hosting an anniversary conference on June 8-9. Fifty years ago, in 1967 there were about 800 feed mills in the UK, and today there are probably fewer than a hundred producing more

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