Compound feeds mills must reduce ration quotes to reflect falling international feed ingredient prices, many of which have moved lower in recent weeks, according to IFA Inputs Project Team Leader James McCarthy.

McCarthy highlighted that compound feed is by far the largest expenditure item on most livestock farms.

“With incomes for many livestock farmers under severe pressure, mills should reduce prices to reflect lower feed ingredient costs.

“Many of the by-products used to manufacture compound feed such as soya, corn gluten, distillers, citrus and soya hulls are significantly cheaper this season and this should be reflected in the price of compound feed.

“It is vitally important that rations are keenly priced so that livestock farmers can maintain competitiveness and restore incomes,” he said.

‘Grain off the combine best value’

According to McCarthy with the harvest coming to a close, grain off the combine or out of the store represents the best value feed that money can buy.

“New processing and storage treatment options for grain are extremely flexible and cost effective.

“Farm-to-farm trade creates much-needed competition, affording growers a greater market opportunity while livestock farmers can source competitively priced high-performance quality feed at first cost,” he said.

International wheat prices jump

International wheat prices received a boost in recent days, reportedly due to concerns over dry weather in the US and Russia.

According to the HGCA the fears were related to the 2016 wheat harvest; Russia may plant less wheat because it is too dry and there is also potential for a negative effect on yields.

Planting of the US winter wheat crop is also underway with 31% of the intended area planted by 27 September.