Local farmers turned out in strong numbers at a recent seminar hosted as part of Bank of Ireland UK Enterprise Week in the Mellon Country Hotel, Omagh.
The theme of the evening centred around “Future Farming Prospects” with guest speakers including Phelim O’Neill, Market Specialist Irish Farmers Journal, Jason McMinn, Farmgate Consultancy and local pedigree dairy farmer Justin McGinley, who provided a Bank of Ireland UK customer perspective.
Sean Sheehan, Regional Director, Consumer and Small Business Bank of Ireland UK, welcomed attendees and reassured the audience of Bank of Irelands’ commitment to the farming community through these very challenging business conditions.
Phelim O’Neill outlined his thoughts on the red meat sector and where future opportunities are being explored.
Jason McMinn offered some practical advice to dairy farmers, encouraging them to reduce waste on their farms. He commented that it is not always easy to take out costs in a production cycle, however reducing waste through minimising operator errors and the importance of getting behind the figures and not assuming that bought meal is always fed meal. The impact of cow mortality on farm income should not be underestimated and according to Jason, his book-keeping figures would suggest a 3% increase in cow mortality is the equivalent to a 1ppl loss in milk. Jason would also encourage the milk processors to take the lead and advise when A+B-C milk price is coming to NI as we are now somewhat behind ROI in terms of milk quality.
Justin McGinley, who recently transferred his business to Bank of Ireland Omagh, has been pleased to date with the support he has been receiving from the local team. He acknowledged that whilst business conditions were particularly challenging at present, he felt reassured of the support from his bank and local business manager who understood his business operation and where prepared to take a longer term view.