Busy times for North West Derry

The North West Derry Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) group have kept active throughout this past year.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 7:33 am
Brian Prue, NW Derry group manager and past president Ivor Ferguson, meeting flood victims after August 2017 floods.
Brian Prue, NW Derry group manager and past president Ivor Ferguson, meeting flood victims after August 2017 floods.

Lockdown meant we had to change how we interacted with our members, but it is important to keep that channel of communication open.

Back in September we gathered our members together over Zoom to give them an industry update. Representatives from all commodities provided members with a committee update on what UFU HQ were dealing with during the current lockdown and with the changes from Brexit. Not only was it a great meeting for providing information to our members, but it allowed for some great discussion during what has been a difficult year.

In February we held an exciting meeting with former UFU president and NW Derry UFU group member Dr John Gilliland OBE, Director of Agriculture at Devenish Nutrition. Over 50 participants tuned into the online Zoom event where Dr Gilliland highlighted that good science can be used to improve both the environment and human health without adversely affecting agricultural production. A topic which we will find at the forefront of discussions with the challenge ahead of us on tackling climate change.

Field of winter barley.

Group chairman Mrs Mary Hunter has been working very hard alongside UFU HQ staff on a few localised projects with the Rivers Agency and also the A6 upgrade. Members had raised concerns that watercourse maintenance had not been kept up to date and as a result the free-flowing condition of the waterways was restricted and in places, flooding farmland.

Through several meetings and site visits, Rivers Agency agreed to undertake river management between Campsie and Myroe which is a positive result for the farmers affected in the area. It is also welcome to hear Minister Poots announcing support scheme for the August 2017 floods which affected some of the NW Derry UFU group members.

NW Derry UFU group members are glad to see the return to the UFU cereal competition, a competition which is taken very seriously in the area with the group having regular NI winners across each category of the competition. We are now taking entries for winter barley with group judging taking place week commencing 14 June. Spring barley, oats and winter wheat competition judging will be held in July. Contact the office if you wish to enter.