John Hanley says 2017 was a mixed year for farming

The chairman of Roscommon IFA says the Brexit deal that avoids a hard border with Northern Ireland was one of the highlights of the year for the agricultural sector.

John Hanley says 2017 was a mixed year for farming.

He notes the volatility in the dairy market, with prices rising for milk from 20 cents a litre 18 months ago to about 36 cents at present.

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It was quite a good year for livestock exports, with 40,000 weanlings transferred to Turkey and 100,000 dispatched to Spain and Netherlands.

However, Mr Hanley says the Brexit deal agreed by EU leaders this month that will avoid border checked between the North and Republic was the major boost.