IFA National Grain Chairman Liam Dunne said that there is an onus on the trade to shore up grain prices this harvest as growers face a substantial drop in incomes. Unless the trade send a strong price signal to growers they would be well advised to park up the ploughs early and reduce sowings for the 2015 harvest.
Mr Dunne said, “Many growers will be settling up their accounts over the coming weeks. They face the stark reality that while the grain may cover out their merchant bills there will be insufficient funds to cover out other costs never mind basic living expenses. Once again many they will be forced to cross subsidise grain production from other enterprises and / or their single farm payment. There is no future for any industry that is not capable of generating enough income that allows for continual reinvestment.”
“The relentless price cost squeeze is negatively impacting on the Irish tillage sector and unless there is a serious realignment of our cost base arable crop farming has a limited future in Ireland. Farmers as price takers, unlike input manufacturers and suppliers, have no opportunity to recoup their costs from the market place.”
“The political establishment also needs to wake up. Their failure to reign in speculative investment in agricultural commodities is compounding the situation. Farm families cannot ride out the boom / bust cycles resulting from speculative investment. Converging payments and onerous greening requirements under the new CAP will further aggravate the income situation for growers. EU Commissioner designate Phil Hogan must as a matter of priority realign CAP policy so that it can deliver viable incomes for family farms while addressing environmental issues. The current reform is flawed, ignores market realities and undermines sustainable crop production.”