Drummonds must be congratulated for the investment the company has made in trialling so many new cereal and oilseed rape varieties at its Termonfeckin tillage site on the outskirts of Drogheda.

The combination of working with both new cereal variety and agronomy options comes together particularly well.

One of the highlights for me of the recent Crop Open Day was the profiling of the new oilseed rape varieties now available, and the impact that they are making within Ireland’s tillage sector.

The prospect of securing yields of up 2t/ac from these new hybrids is, for me at least, mind blowing. Add in the fact that nitrogen application rates are fast falling, where rape is concerned, and it’s hard not to conclude that this unique brassica has a very positive future within Irish cropping systems.

The central role that rape can also play within all tillage rotations is another plus factor that cannot be overlooked. It is the perfect forerunner for a first wheat.


Meanwhile, it’s turning out to be a very significant year for the tillage sector across the board.

We now know that the cropping acreage for 2022 is up 6%, year-on-year.

The question now is – can we build on this for the future? Or put another way, can we at least hold on to some of the gains secured on the back of the Tillage Incentive Scheme?

The answer to this question should hopefully be, yes. But making this happen will require both the Tillage Incentive Scheme and the Straw Incorporation Measure to be rolled over.

The need for tillage farmers to receive sustainable prices for their produce goes without saying. Making this happen will require all Irish livestock producers – dairy, beef, pigs, poultry and sheep – to receive equally buoyant returns.


With food inflation rates having broken through the 10% barrier, the pressure is really on the supermarkets and food processers to reflect these trends back towards the farm gate without delay.

Where Irish grain is concerned, there is an immediate requirement to have all the cereals grown in this country officially recognised as having a home-grown heritage.

Listening to some of the farmers attending the Drummonds event, I got the impression that such was not the case.

This situation must be rectified with immediate effect. Irish consumers must be made aware of the role played by grain to produce food of the highest quality emanating from Irish farms.

In the meantime, the 2022 harvest is fast approaching. So let’s hope the weather pays in making it a stress-free process for every farmer involved.