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Farming

A good harvest but growers are feeling the price pinch

Francis Farragher

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GALWAY grain growers are enjoying a solid harvest return with very good quality corn mainly due to the July heatwave – but they are facing up to a price drop of €60 per tonne as compared to last year’s prices.

Approximately 6,000 acres of corn – mostly barley – are being harvested in Galway and if the ‘reasonably dry’ conditions continue into next week, nearly all of the cutting could be completed by the second week of September.

Yields have been described as being ‘average to good’ with the mixture of summer sun, and moisture in the ground, making up for the harshness of the spring season.

Barley prices are currently averaging out at around €140 per tonne – this time last year the price stood at €200 per tonne – although there are some hopes of a recovery over the next month to six weeks.

One bonus for ‘the corn men’ is the strong demand for straw with round bales making €18 to €200 ‘off the field’ while small square bales are making from €2.50 to €3.

The large scale ESB sourcing of straw for the generation of electricity at their plant in Edenderry has also given a major lift to straw prices.

However one matter of concern for farmers is the massive price discrepancy between what they are being paid by the merchants as compared to the price of purchasing rolled oats or barley from the grain stores.

The price of rolled barley varies between €310 to €360 a tonne, representing a mark-up of over 150% in cases – some farmers with storage space are buying directly from other farmers at a price of about €180 per tonne. 

Co. Galway IFA Grain Committee Chairman, Eamonn Burke, told the Farming Tribune, that by early this week, he estimated about 30 to 40% of crops in the county had been harvested.

He said that the rate of cutting had been restricted by some ‘very slow’ drying days, but overall ground conditions were excellent, and good progress was being made with the harvesting.

“We are probably looking at yields that are a little above the average while the quality of the corn is very good.

“The main problem for growers, and especially for those who have rented land, is that a price of €140 a tonne is a long way off the financial break even mark,” said Eamonn Burke.

He said that while there were some tentative signs of a price recovery over the next six weeks or so, many grain growers were committed to a system of delivery of corn from the fields to the merchants’ yards.

Mr. Burke said that once grain farmers paid over the €100 per acre for rented land, they were leaving themselves open to a serious loss making situation, especially in a year when grain prices dropped significantly.

Connacht Tribune

New faces on IFA commodities committee

Francis Farragher

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A NUMBER of new faces will be elected onto the Galway IFA Commodities Committee in a postal vote that will begin next week and be completed by early December.

The most keenly contested position looks like being that of Rural Development representative with three candidates going for the job.

Eamonn Burke, Corrandulla branch, was the outgoing representative, but his term of office ends this month, opening the way for three new nominations.

They are: PJ Conroy, Looscaun, Woodford; Pat Flaherty, Oranmore and Peter Gohery of the Eyrecourt branch.

Rural Development is considered one of the more important positions in that it will be ‘fighting the case’ for the bigger spending areas such as REPS, GLAS and any new environmental scheme.

The other contest is for the position of Grain Representative which had been held by John Daly of Kilconnell, whose term of office is also up.

There are two nomination for this position – Eamonn Burke of Corrandulla and Mervyn Cooke of the Aughrim IFA branch.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Dosing changes will need watching

Francis Farragher

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Galway IFA Animal Health Committee Chairman, Stephen Canavan

THE Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, has been advised to ‘keep his eye on the ball’ in relation to EU regulations coming down the track for the sourcing of livestock dosing treatments.

According to the IFA, new EU regulations due to come into force in 2022, would require farmers to get a prescription for a range of products including anthelmintics, used for the treatment of fluke and worms in cattle and sheep.

IFA Animal Health Chairman, Pat Farrell, said the new EU Veterinary Medicine Regulation had the potential to severely impact on competition in the supply of anthelmintics to farmers.

He also warned that because of a derogation in place in Northern Ireland as regards anthelmintics, the EU regulations would mean a two-tier supply system on the island of Ireland, leading to unregulated movement of products.

Galway IFA Animal Health Committee Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, that the IFA wanted a continuation of the system where the stores and co-ops would have a suitable qualified person (SQP) to deal with the selling of such products.

“This regulation, if implemented in 2022, would have serious implications for farmers in carrying out their day-to-day farm work where for example they have dosing programmes in places for their livestock. We most certainly want the Minister for Agriculture and the Department to keep their eye on the ball on this issue.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

New TB test will not be a ‘runner’ say IFA

Francis Farragher

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Galway IFA Animal Health Committee Chairman, Stephen Canavan

THE Dept. of Agriculture have been accused of doing ‘yet another solo-run’ on bovine TB with their proposal to introduce a 30-day test for pre-sale movements at marts and from farm to farm.

Galway IFA Animal Health Committee Chairman, Stephen Canavan, told the Farming Tribune, said that news of the proposed new testing regime as revealed in last week’s Farmers Journal, came as ‘a bolt from the blue’.

“I suppose in one way we shouldn’t be surprised – the Department just keep coming up with these kinds of proposals without any agreement or input from farmers.

“We in IFA want to make it clear to the Department that this will be another non-runner. They went on one solo-run with the herd categorisation and now they’ve gone ahead with their next piece of tomfoolery,” said Stephen Canavan.

He said that there was absolutely no scientific proof or evidence that introducing this extra 30-day pre-movement test would in any way be a help in the campaign to reduce the incidence of TB in Irish herds.

“Either a farmer is clear or he’s not clear in terms of TB testing – there can be no in-between on this one.

“It is utterly ridiculous that a farmer after having two clear tests would end up a couple of months later having another test before he could sell stock at the mart or to another farmer.

“Who would pay for this test? Is this really just another way of taking more money from farmers whose herds have already had a clear test. It makes no sense at all,” said Stephen Canavan.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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