Current sub-production cost grain price offers will accelerate the wind-down of cereal production, said IFA president Eddie Downey. He said many growers are at the end of their tether as their incomes have been on the floor for the last three years.
This has been reflected in sowings, with the cereal area having fallen by about 90,000 acres, Mr Downey told farmers attending the final day of the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois.
Mr Downey said: “Some larger buyers are sending a clear market signal to growers that they are not seriously interested in the long-term viability of grain production, but are happy to sell inputs at prices that are unaffordable.
"These buyers are attempting to talk down the price as the harvest moves to a close.”
The IFA leader said many of the smaller and medium-sized merchants are paying €140/t for green winter barley, at a 20% moisture excluding vat, €4/t to €5/t under for spring barley and €7 /t to €10/t over for winter wheat.
“Merchants and input suppliers need to wake up, Grain farmers’ incomes have been on the floor for the last three years despite good yields,” said Mr Downey.
“Current offers for green and dried grain are significantly below the cost of production and this is threatening the long-term viability of the sector.”
Meanwhile, ICMSA president John Comer called on EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to come to the aid of dairy farmers, who are also struggling to cope with an income crisis.
He said milk prices at their current level impact not only on farm families, but on the wider rural economies.
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