Agri-businesses note increase in input sales as weather picks up
Agri-businesses, feed mills and agricultural merchants have seen an increase in farmer activity in recent days and weeks, with more producers buying in feed and fertiliser.
However, this is down to weather conditions beginning to improve following a long winter, rather than any impact from the spread of Covid-19.
Meanwhile, precautionary measures have been introduced by agri-businesses and co-ops around the country in a bid to limit and halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Glanbia Ireland’s agribusiness and Gain Animal Nutrition have experienced an increase in weather-related feed sales in recent weeks, a spokesperson for Glanbia told AgriLand.
“We would attribute most of the increase to the busy springtime season and improvement in weather in recent days.
Grass growth rates since the end of January are 4kg DM/ha behind the same period in 2019, with ground conditions impacting on grazing abilities.
“This week grass growth is approaching normal growth rates for the time of year – with PastureBase Ireland data showing growth over the past week is now just 2kg DM/ha behind 2019,” the Glanbia representative added.
However, Covid-19 is not being forgotten about with Glanbia operating strict procedures to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
“We have reassured our farming customers that we have procedures in place to continue to provide our vital services to the farming community as part of the national effort to contain coronavirus Covid-19.
We are asking our customers to follow our strict hygiene procedures and measures to minimise close contact at our network of branches.
“To minimise visits to branches, we are encouraging customers to place orders through our business managers over the phone, our customer services centre and online via www.glanbiaconnect.com,” the spokesperson concluded.
Tipperary-headquartered animal feed producer and agricultural merchant Liffey Mills noted an increase in farmers filling up bins with meal as well as a “huge move on fertiliser”.
However, the fertiliser move is attributed to being back so much in February and the weather, with a representative adding: “The forecast is good and that’s why lads are moving for fertiliser, more so than coronavirus.
“On the feed end of it, most of the feed going out now is on the dairy end of it and they only have bins that are augured into the parlour and can only take so much.”
The agribusiness lauded hauliers and lorry drivers for keeping things moving for food production, from delivering feed to collecting milk.
Speaking to AgriLand, a spokesperson for Kerry Group said: “With regard to store sales, there has been an increase, certainly with fertiliser sales, but that was because there was a latent demand there due to the weather.
“Certainly in the last few weeks, since mid-January, you wouldn’t have been considering fertiliser in general terms.
There has been an increase; people, once the weather improves, get on with their business – and that’s what’s happening.
“In terms of utilisation, it had to be delayed this year in the context of the weather we were having.”
Again, it was confirmed that, in terms of processing, Kerry has procedures and precautionary measures in place to limit Covid-19.
Stay tuned to AgriLand for an update on measures being taken by other agri-businesses in the coming days.