The Glanbia 2019 grain base price has been described as “very disappointing” by the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) grain chairman Mark Browne.

Commenting on the announcement made yesterday, Browne said: “Although grain markets are challenging, there is scope to place a higher value on Irish grain.

According to official Teagasc figures, even with decent grain yields this season, these base prices will leave tillage farmers operating below the cost of production.

Continuing, he outlined: “Glanbia is a major buyer of Irish grain, but it is unacceptable to pay an unsustainable price for native quality assured grain.”

The non-member base prices for feed barley and feed wheat are €128/t and €135/t respectively.

“Apart from drought-hit 2018, five of the last six years have seen grain prices which have been either below or just at the cost of production.

This has been reflected in the 20% decline in tillage acreage since 2012.

Continuing, the IFA tillage chairman outlined: “Glanbia and others cannot ignore the strategic importance of the tillage sector to the broader agricultural industry and the critical role native grains play in relation to Ireland’s food provenance credentials.”

Concluding, Browne stressed: “A strong arable sector is required if Irish agriculture is to achieve its climate change, carbon footprint, biodiversity and water quality targets.”