Grain growers should look to alternatives

 As some traditional buyers move to talk prices lower, growers should look to alternative markets to boost competition and returns from grain, according to Irish Farmers Association (IFA) National Grain Committee Chairman Noel Delany.

“There has been a significant increase in interest in the farm-to-farm trade of grain and whole crop cereal in recent days as grass and forage supplies remain tight,” he said.
“Native grain is the most versatile, high-energy feed that farmers can buy. New technologies for processing and storage have made native cereal purchased off the combine the most cost competitive concentrate livestock feed available on the Irish market. Growers should also consider B&B arrangements as grain prices are considered to be on the floor at the moment with an opportunity for a price lift post-harvest.”
While world prices have been pressured lower in recent days, the bearish view taken by investors is overdone considering that much of the Northern Hemisphere’s maize crop was sown late, development is very uneven and crops will be more prone to damage from an early September frost, he said.
“Growers should shop around before delivering grain and examine alternative outlets. Deals are being done for green barley ie at 20 per cent moisture for €145/t to €150/t (exclusive of vat) collected ex farm. Some choice lots of Cassia winter barley have traded at €170/t green for the roasting market. Dried barley is trading from €178/t to €180/t. At these price levels growers once again are facing a very difficult year as crop returns will struggle to cover costs. It is vital that farmers look to alternative markets to stimulate competition and boost returns.”
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