IFA National Grain Chairman Liam Dunne said that growers should examine all their options before delivering in grain to local merchants given that the current price offers from the trade are significantly below the cost of production.
He said, “Alternative markets such as farm-to-farm are delivering a significant premium over traditional market outlets. Farmers, at a minimum, should retain ownership while considering their options including a deal on drying and storage with their local co-op/merchant or other farmers”.
Liam Dunne said, “Grain prices are invariably at their lowest at this time of the year as prices succumb to harvest pressure and short selling dictates the price. It is only a matter of weeks before the harvest will be wrapped up, the store doors close and this will take the pressure off prices. Farmers should consider holding out as current market prices are not sustainable and there is potential for some market upside once the harvest is complete”.
The IFA Grain Chairman said, “Additionally, growers should look at alternative markets such as farm-to-farm trade. The advent of new processing and storage technologies means that many grain and livestock farmers can treat and store grain more cost effectively compared to conventional drying and storage. The versatility of the enzyme/urea treatment of whole or crimped grain allows for longer term storage (up to 12 months) giving growers access to premium markets allowing them to add significant value to their grain”.
“The attempt by a number of major buyers to talk down prices to unrealistic levels is doing untold damage to growers’ confidence. Many farmers are questioning the long-term viability of grain production in Ireland given the relentless increase in production costs, converging payments post- 2014 and increased regulations, which will result in further downward pressure on growers’ incomes. The trade needs to wake up and support growers in what are extremely challenging times or face a significant contraction of the industry.”