‘Every day of bad weather reduces our crop margins’
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.