Grain growers face income crisis

The Irish cereal sector is in danger of entering terminal decline unless all stakeholders support domestic growers, says IFA national grain chair Liam Dunne.

Farmers gathered for an IFA protest at Drogheda port said they were very angry that brokers are importing barley at a time when plentiful domestic supplies have driven prices below Irish farmers’ €145-150 per tonne production costs for the current harvest.

The growers are also frustrated by the failure of the EU Commission and the Government to intervene in the ongoing income crisis.

“Grain farmers are extremely angry that some traders and brokers are importing grain when plentiful supplies of quality native grain are available,” said Mr Dunne.

“Brokers typically use the threat of imports to undermine local prices in an effort to gain market share and boost their own earnings.

"While the overall Irish harvest is expected to be back by 500,000 tonnes on last year, there are ample supplies of new season grain available, currently estimated at in excess of 1.2m tonnes. This is expected to rise to 2m tonnes by harvest close.”

IFA is seeking abolition of tariffs and anti-dumping duties on fertiliser imports, as fertilisers now account for 40% of variable production costs, and an EU Competition Authority review of the cost of plant protection products — which are priced far lower to growers in other regions across the world than farmers in the EU.


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