‘Every day of bad weather re­duces our crop mar­gins’

Irish Independent - Farming - - RURAL LIFE -

MARK BROWNE used the fleet­ing few days of warm weather ear­lier this month to play catch-up on pre­par­ing his 200-acre farm in Caim near En­nis­cor­thy.

“We had about 40pc of the work done up to May 4, but we should be al­right by June,” he says.

“It has been all smash and grab down here be­cause of the weather. It’s been very dif­fi­cult. We are at least six weeks be­hind,” says the life­long tillage man, the fifth gen­er­a­tion of the Browne fam­ily to farm what he de­scribes as “good Clon­roche soil”.

To put the time loss in con­text, Mark should have been 100pc ready to go in April but now he hopes it will be full steam ahead.

“Every day of bad weather re­duces the mar­gin on spring and malt­ing bar­leys, and oats,” Mark points out.

And mar­gin, he says, is up­per­most in the mind of tillage farm­ers these days.

In sim­ple math­e­mat­i­cal terms, tillage farm­ers are down nearly 20pc on their crops with no move­ment on the prices ex­pected for the fore­see­able fu­ture.

“We’re down in price by half a tonne for every 3.2 tonnes,” he says which works out at around 17pc but then you have to add in in­creased in­put costs, he says.

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