The spell of good weather has allowed farmers to make excellent progress on plantings of winter crops. Based on reports from around the country it would appear that most of the extra plantings will be attributed to barley. However it must be remembered that winter barley was back by over 8000 ha last year so we should see this area restored or perhaps regain the 74,000 ha level of 2016.
IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Tom Phelan today (Tuesday) pointed out that, other than the 4 West Cork Co-ops, no other Irish milk purchasers had returned the August Ornua PPI equivalent price of 31.78c/l + VAT for 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat milk, never mind the September 32.70c/l + VAT average returns for dairy products, as reported by the EU Milk Market Observatory (see graph below left). He added that, as European milk purchasers were continuing to raise milk prices for September, October, and in some cases to year end, farmers in Ireland were entitled to wonder whether they were being short-changed by their co-ops in one of the toughest years for cash flow and morale. 1c/l on September milk is fully justified, and should be paid on base prices by all co-ops.
The grain prices released from the main co-ops last week have set the level for current green grain prices. For growers with solely winter crops the price is reasonable however those with spring crops along the eastern seaboard in particular, will be nursing losses again this season. Although trade in grain is quiet at the moment, prices have steadied this week having eased a little last week.