Tillage sec­tor un­der ‘huge’ pres­sure

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - CLAIRE FOX

TILLAGE farm­ers have been urged to take care of their phys­i­cal and men­tal health as they strug­gle to get the last of the ce­re­als har­vested and crops such as oilseed rape sown.

The poor weather of the last week has turned the end of the har­vest into a sal­vage op­er­a­tion.

“There is huge pres­sure on lads at the mo­ment, try­ing to get the last of the crops cut, straw saved and oilseed rape sown,” the IFA’s Liam Dunne ex­plained.

“I have heard of farm­ers cut­ting into the night and then jump­ing on a seeder to get crops in be­fore the rain. It’s that sort of pres­sure that leads to ac­ci­dents.”

Be­tween 20pc and 25pc of the har­vest has still to be com­pleted in Of­faly, West­meath, North Tip­per­ary, Gal­way and Done­gal.

In Meath, ground con­di­tions have de­te­ri­o­rated over the last fort­night and a lot of spring bar­ley has yet to be har­vested.

Grow­ers in the south and east of the coun­try es­ti­mate that be­tween 5pc and 10pc of the har­vest re­mains to be cut.

One Cork grower said lit­tle of the bean har­vest had been done in the county and plant­ings of oilseed rape had been se­verely dis­rupted by the heavy rains.

A lot of straw has still to be saved and ce­real grow­ers are worried that they may strug­gle to get it baled un­less the weather im­proves. De­mand for straw has in­creased over the last few weeks as the bad weather took hold.

Mean­while, cur­rency will be the sin­gle big­gest im­pact on grain prices for 2017-18, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing grain trader.

James Nolan of Halls told tillage farm­ers at the Tea­gasc Na­tional Crops Fo­rum in New­bridge that the strength­en­ing of the euro against the dol­lar and ster­ling means grain im­ports into the EU will be cheaper.

“Cur­rency is the sin­gle big­gest im­pact on Euro­pean prices this year. Euro­pean farm­ers ben­e­fited from weak­en­ing euro last year but the euro’s strength is hav­ing an im­pact on our abil­ity to sell our crop,” Mr Hall said.

In­creas­ing sup­ply from ex­port re­gions such as Brazil and Ar­gentina has also put down­ward pres­sure on prices.

How­ever, Mr Nolan claimed it was “not all doom and gloom” for Irish tillage farm­ers and that there was some cause for “cau­tious op­ti­mism”. Ris­ing oil prices in Rus­sia will in­crease their cur­rency and there­fore lessen their sell­ing power which would also ben­e­fit Europe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.