IFA President Tim Cullinan said he noted the support Diageo is offering to the pub trade, and he encouraged them to extend this to growers.
“Growers had made considerable investment in their malting barley crop before COVID-19 hit the drinks trade. Everybody is hoping the re-opening next week goes smoothly, but growers cannot be left behind,” he said.
“All stakeholders in the Irish drinks industry must recognise the ongoing effort and commitment which growers have put into producing quality malting barley. This has seen an expansion in the area sown. Notwithstanding the difficult market conditions, it’s imperative that drink companies do everything possible to back the primary producer in the supply chain,” he said.
IFA Grain Chairman Mark Browne said the earlier drought conditions have had a severe impact on the tillage sector. At best, many growers will have significant yield reductions while in other situations, entire crops are a write-off.
“The situation is particularly critical right up through the midlands and into the east and northeast. Recent rain has been very welcome in these areas. For some, it has been too little too late,” he said.