Good Grain Yields Insufficient to Redress Deteriorating Income Situation – Dunne

IFA National Grain Chairman Liam Dunne said that good grain yields this harvest will be insufficient to redress the deteriorating income situation developing on many tillage farms over the last three years as low grain prices and escalating input costs erode margins. The EU and trade buyers must support growers through another difficult year.
Liam Dunne said, “Good yields on many tillage farms this year will not redress the fundamental problems facing growers. Rapidly escalating costs, particularly for fertiliser, machinery and machinery spares, coupled with onerous greening requirements imposed by the EU along with cuts to growers’ Basic and Greening payments are compounding the income situation. The increasing consolidation of the input supply chain has allowed many major multinational companies to significantly boost their returns by pushing through unjustified priced increases while growers struggle to generate modest incomes with little or no money to reinvest in their farm businesses”.
“The problem has been compounded by the EU as many growers face significant cuts in their payments and are forced to grow crops to satisfy a bureaucratic greening requirement rather than respond to market needs. This is leading to market distortion, as evidenced by the significant increase in the Irish sown barley and oat areas aggravating an over-supplied oats market. The significant reduction in Irish cereal sowings of close on 90,000 acres over the last three years is a worrying trend, clearly demonstrating the depth of the crisis facing many tillage farmers.”
“The EU Commission must act now to stem the deepening income crisis developing on tillage farms by curbing the undue influence of speculative investors on grain and oilseed prices, abolishing anti-competitive practices by fertiliser manufactures, reforming the three-crop rule to redress market imbalance. European CAN manufacturers have pushed through price increases in recent days despite the ongoing collapse in energy prices. The EU Commission must take immediate action suspend customs duties on imported fertilisers and instigate a sector enquiry into the fertiliser industry.”

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