The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has today announced that a roundtable meeting of tillage sector stakeholders is to take place next month.

To ensure that the industry can continue to grow and fulfill its potential, it is timely that all concerned come together now to chart a way forward for the sector, he said.

The meeting is to take place on October 6, to evaluate the current challenges facing the Irish tillage sector and to address emerging opportunities.

The meeting will be chaired by Minister Creed and will include representatives of growers, compounders, the food and drinks industry, suppliers of inputs, relevant State agencies and other stakeholders.

In making the announcement at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, the Minister emphasised that as well as the challenges posed by current weather and price related difficulties for growers, significant changes will take place in the international trading environment in the coming months and years.

In this challenging landscape for the tillage sector, he said that we need to take a fresh look at the Irish tillage sector to ensure that it is best positioned to withstand possible threats and to avail of new opportunities which may present themselves.

I consider that a vibrant and viable tillage sector is essential to Irish agriculture.

“It provides a high quality, traceable source of native feedstuffs for the livestock sector, as well as high quality assured grain to meet the demands of a rapidly growing brewing and distilling industry,” he said.

Tillage farmers losing in the region of €350/acre

Tillage farmers in parts of the country are losing an estimated €350/ac as crops are completely wrote off thanks to the recent weather, according to tillage and beef farmer Eamon Burke from Co. Galway.

Crops yet to be harvested in parts of west of the country aren’t even salvageable, he said.

Burke, who is also on IFA’s Rural Development Committee, said that last weekend’s wind and rain was the final straw for crops in the area.

It’s not only the west that’s affected but farmers across the country he said.

“We were out trying to harvest today but we had another shower so we stopped. The grain that’s in the tank has sprouted inside.

“Moisture levels are up to 30%, sprouting has taken over and that grain is going to be rejected. We were about 50% through the harvest and before this it was doing well.”

We’re estimating that between straw and all, you’re looking at a loss of about €350/ac. It’s serious. The financial losses are huge this year.