Speaking in County Carlow today, IFA President Tim Cullinan called on all grain merchants to pay sustainable prices this harvest.
Tim Cullinan was visiting tillage farms in the area, to view first-hand the poor harvest.
“The impact of a difficult winter followed by drought conditions in late spring has had a devastating effect, with instances of grain and straw yields dropping by as much as 70% on last season,” he said.
“There are similar situations right up through the midlands and into the east and northeast where growers, in some cases, have crops which are not worth harvesting,” he said
The President called on Teagasc to carry out an immediate assessment of the ongoing harvest in these areas.
According to the Teagasc National Farm Survey, tillage farm incomes fell by 15% in 2019 compared to 2018. “Current grain prices being offered by the trade will leave farmers suffering further major losses this season. These prices must rise significantly just to cover production costs,” he said.
The President added, “The Price of Quality Assured Irish grain must not be undermined by the price of third-country feedstuffs, which are not produced to the same environmental standards as Irish grain”.
In addition, he reiterated his call for feed manufacturers and the malting sector to maximise their intake of Irish grain.
IFA Grain Chairman Mark Browne called on the Government to support the tillage sector. “The area of Irish grain production is down 17% from 2012 and without targeted measures and a strategic plan, this decline will continue,” he said
“The sector contributes over €650m of farm gate value to the rural economy. It is of critical strategic importance to Ireland’s €13bn livestock, dairy, food, drinks and mushroom export sectors,” he said.
“Irish tillage farmers were disproportionately affected by the last CAP and any further reduction in supports or increased regulation without compensation under the new CAP 2020, will decimate the sector,” he said.