Tillage farmers need support from the trade sector with strong grain and protein prices this harvest.
Irish Farmers Association (IFA) president Joe Healy said the recent market upturn has to be translated into increased prices. He said farmers are struggling to cope with a combination of low prices, expensive inputs, falling direct payments and increased compliance costs due to greening.
“In light of the extremely difficult harvest last year, there is an onus on merchants and co-ops to appropriately compensate tillage farmers for the high-quality grain they produce. The trade has to recognise that without viable prices, the strong local supply of native grain they depend on to support Ireland’s export-orientated livestock, dairy and drinks industries cannot be guaranteed,” he said.
IFA grain committee chairman Liam Dunne said the area sown to cereals has fallen over the last four years by over 100,000 acres and this trend will accelerate unless there is a rapid improvement in the income situation. “Unless we see phenomenal yields, it is unlikely we will surpass two million tonnes this harvest,” he said.
Mr Dunne said grain growers need a minimum base price near to €145 per tonne for barley, and close to €155 per tonne for wheat this harvest.
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