The break-even yield (grain only), for cereals in 2014 ranges from 5.6 tonnes per hectare for malting barley to 8.7t of winter feed wheat, according to profit margins projected by Teagasc.
Crop costs range from €941 for spring feed oats to €1,299 for winter feed wheat.
The margins published by Teagasc (which do not include the Single Farm Payment) are a useful guide to profits — but land suitability, rotation, risk avoidance and convenience should also be considered. Bonuses for quality are important, and in the case of malting barley, the availability of contracts and fulfilment of contract requirements may limit the attainment of the projected profit margins.
Little difference between spring and winter feed cereal margins is expected.
Stacking is available in 2014. In future years the stacked grower may rent additional land (if profitable), without compromising his stacked (consolidated) entitlements. As usual, potatoes are the most expensive crop to grow (projected at €5,038 per hectare in 2014). The Teagasc figures indicate a 25.2t crop is needed to break even.
The Crop Costs and Returns 2014 report is in the publications section of the www.teagasc.ie website.
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