Winter barley harvest yields are of mixed size and quality

Variable yields and quality have been reported in the Co Cork winter barley harvest.

Yields from 2.5 to 4.0 tonnes per acre, and bushel weights from mid-50s to 65s, indicate mixed results.

Around the country, a 0.25-0.4t/ac drop, compared to last year’s bumper crop, was reported last week by IFA sources, who also said grain prices continued to weaken.

IFA president, Eddie Downey, said current price offers for new crop grain were unsustainable, significantly below the cost of production.

Mr Downey said downward price pressure and increased costs for CAP reform greening requirements threatened the viability of grain farming in Ireland.

Mr Downey said urgent political action was needed to limit speculative investment (causing grain price volatility) and to break up price cartels operating on the farm input side, particularly for fertilisers.

IFA National Grain Committee chairman, Liam Dunne, said “variable production cost for spring barley this season is in excess of €1,000 per hectare, with winter wheat at €1,400.”

“Based on a trend yield of 6.4t, it would take a green price of €156 per tonne for spring barley to cover variable costs alone.

“Current price offers are significantly below this level and growers will struggle to meet their bills”.

“Input suppliers, in many instances, have hiked product prices in recent years on the back of rising grain prices.

“They must recognise the new reality, trim their margins, and pass back increased rebates to growers through the merchant trade.

“Brokers and merchants, likewise, must reduce their margins as growers struggle to sustain their businesses.”


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