IFA calls on grain buyers to offer strong protein crop prices

Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) Grain Committee chairman Mark Browne has welcomed the Boortmalt forward fixed price offer of €200/t for the 2021 malting barley crop, as tillage incomes drop by 10%.

The chairman has called on all grain buyers to commit to Irish tillage farmers’ sustainability by offering strong forward grain and protein crop prices to encourage increased home production.

Mark Browne chopping straw last harvest

“Last year’s tillage season was extremely difficult for growers. Preliminary estimates by IFA indicate a fall in tillage incomes of over 10% for 2020,” Browne said.

According to the Teagasc National Farm Survey, tillage farm incomes fell by 15% in 2019, representing consecutive years of decline for the sector.

“Also, the Irish livestock feed sector needs to reduce its dependence on feed ingredient imports which are of lower regulatory and environmental standards,” he added.

According to the IFA, the recent Ag Climatise report – released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) – recognised this quality divergence.

The association said that it emphasised the importance of increasing the Irish tillage area and promoting native grain and protein crops in livestock rations.

Compound feed

Meanwhile, compound feed prices are set to increase by as much as €15/t over the coming days, grain trade sources have recently revealed to AgriLand. This follows an increase introduced by many millers prior to Christmas.

Numerous factors have combined to strengthen feed markets since the turn of the year. These include a decision taken by the Russian government to put restrictions on exports of wheat from the middle of February in an attempt to halt rising food inflation.

The Argentinian agricultural ministry, meanwhile, has announced that it will lift the ban on corn exports which was announced in December and introduce a temporary 30,000t daily cap on sales abroad.

The export ban had angered many of the corn growers in Argentina and led to strikes taking place.