IFA President Joe Healy said other trade buyers must follow Dairygold’s prices for green grain, oilseed and protein for the 2017 harvest.
Joe Healy said, “As one of the largest buyers and users of native grain in the country, Dairygold has moved away from the traditional methodology of setting the harvest price based on the lowest common denominator of imported feed grains and variable quality bi-products. The Dairygold announcement comes at a critical juncture as many growers are seriously questioning the long-term viability of tillage farming as we enter the fifth consecutive season of low harvest prices”.
IFA National Grain Chairman Liam Dunne said, “Other grain buyers should sit up and take note. Unless they are prepared to work with their growers to sustain them through prolonged difficult periods, tillage farming will disappear from vast areas of the country. Persistent low margins, if not negative in some years, have seen a significant swing away from cereal production over the last 10 years, with the sown area down by over 142,000 acres – close on 20%”.
Liam Dunne said the cereal area was down by a massive 37,000ac for this year’s harvest. This trend is expected to continue as we head into a fifth year of low grain prices with crop margins for many growers struggling to cover out production costs.
“The accelerated reduction in tillage area will impact on the longer-term viability of our livestock, dairy and drinks sectors as overseas buyers increasingly focus on carbon footprint and food provenance. Increasing our dependence on imported grains and other feed ingredient bi-products is not an option,” Liam Dunne concluded.