Whingeing is a word that I would rarely use. However, I have had a few beef finishers on to me over recent days, complaining that store cattle prices are far too high at the present time.
In response to all of this, I started asking myself the question: when were they ever too low?
For the record, the people coming at me whingeing, were the same people currently benefitting from record beef prices, with no end in sight to this beneficial set of circumstances.
Moreover, many of these people have working relationships with the meat plants that most other farmers would die for.
I thought farming was supposed to work on the basis that everyone gets a turn now and then.
Rising cost of inputs
Yes, I am fully aware of the fact that inputs are going up on farms around the country at the present time. But, in more than equal measure, there is a lot of positivity impacting on Irish agriculture right now… all of which should be heartily welcomed.
As previously mentioned, beef prices have never been higher. I sense that dairy and sheep farmers are also pretty content with the prices on offer to them at the present time.
Parts of the country could do with rain at the present time. However, the weather has also made a positive contribution to the state of Irish farming over recent weeks.
The winter cereal harvest is about to get underway. Both grain and straw prices yield are predicted to be high this year. And prices for both will certainly hold up.
Disease pressure on crops has been relatively low this year. Surely this has resulted in a significant reduction in the overall use of fungicides.
And I am assuming that the same principle holds where the use of blight sprays within the potato sector is concerned.
Whingeing about cattle
Getting back to cattle for a second, there is no doubt that animals thrive under dry, warm conditions. And this is the very scenario they are enjoying at the present time.
Where future support for farming is concerned, the Irish government has secured a reasonable enough budgetary package from Brussels.
The real challenge now facing agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue is getting the highest possible level of co-funding commitments from the Irish exchequer.
This is a fundamentally important issue that will be played out over the coming months.
In truth, I think Irish agriculture has a lot going for it at the present time. I have known circumstances to be a lot more challenging than those unfolding currently.
It’s a fundamental flaw in some Irish farmers’ psyche that they always look for problems and ‘conveniently’ ignore all of the positivity that is going on around them.