Tillage farmers in Ireland “have yet to receive any worthwhile support” to offset rising input costs, the Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) has claimed.

Bobby Miller, the group’s chairperson, said today (Wednesday, May 4): “Financial packages are being made available to all livestock sectors to help secure fodder going forward.”

He was responding to the details of new support scheme to pay farmers to produce silage this year. However, this scheme is not open to dairy farmers; only beef and sheep farmers, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue confirmed yesterday.

Miller said: “The pig sector is also receiving much needed government support. However, tillage farmers that specialise in crop production, that have no grassland, have yet to receive any worthwhile support in what is a very high-cost year.

“The importance of these growers to provide fully traceable food and feed has received increased recognition of late,” he added.

However, the IGGG chair argued that these farmers “find themselves understandably disappointed why nothing of substance has been formulated yet”.

“The general view is that increasing the Irish tillage area will reduce food miles; reduce our national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and help Irish food security. Yet those specialist tillage growers find themselves left out in the cold,” Miller concluded.

The new silage support scheme is set to pay beef and sheep farmers €100/ha for all silage cut, up to a maximum of 10ha.

This would result in these farmers being eligible to receive up to €1,000 each.

Minister McConalogue has confirmed that the silage support scheme will not be open to dairy farmers.

He said that he received “very strong support” from his Cabinet colleagues when they discussed the proposed measure yesterday evening.

The minister said that work will continue in the coming weeks to finalise the details of the package before it is officially launched.