Video: 4,000ac Murragh Farm hitting yields of 4.5t/ac

The harvesting of winter barley was coming to an end on Murragh Farm in Oldtown, Co. Dublin earlier this week.

The Rodgers brothers, John and David, farm 4,000ac just north of the capital. They predominantly grow winter barely and winter wheat, while a small acreage of spring crops is also planted.

John Rodgers has been in the tillage business since finishing agricultural college in 1981. Speaking with AgriLand earlier this week, John said he was pleased with how crops have yielded and the quality of grain produced this year.

“Cassia is performing the best, with yields of up to 4.5t/ac,” he said. This variety is weighing very well and is reaching KPHs of 60-78.

Rodgers’ Tower – a winter barley variety – is not performing just as well, with yields of 4t/ac and a bushel weight of 64 KPH. “It’s brackling too,” he added.

Rodgers barley

Overall, John is happy with the winter barley crop. The weather for the harvest has been a massive plus, he said. Moisture levels are low at 15-18%, making for easier handling.

With regard to straw, John said quality is very good this year. The brothers sell the straw out of the field each year and have their own customers for it.

Rodgers barley

Murragh Farm currently operates three New Holland combines with 25ft-wide headers and, given the large acreage of the farm, a fleet of 15 tractors – 10 John Deeres and five Fendts.

Of the 4,000ac farmed, approximately two-thirds of the land is rented, John said.

Rodgers barley

The Rodgers have their own drying facility on-farm and dry all of their own grain. They then sell directly to the mills. The farm supplies Paul & Vincent, AW Ennis and Cartons in Shercock, Co. Cavan.

Commenting on the poor grain prices in recent years, John said: “We should be getting a premium for our product.

Irish farmers are producing a top-quality product; yet we are priced on the world market.

Rodgers barley

Rodgers stressed the high input costs of the sector, with machinery being a huge capital investment. He said: “We have the same grain prices as 30 years ago and 2017 input prices.”

Rodgers barley