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A great return from the Galway grain crops but prices remain dismal

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Fleming Agri-contrators making the most of the fine weather at Murray's field in Mountbellew as they bale the straw after the combine. Photo: David Walsh.

‘Great yields but poor prices’ has summed up the mood of Galway grain growers as their harvest work has received a boost with the recent spell of settled weather.

Some spring barley growers achieved unprecedented yields of over four tonnes to the acre while the spring crops are also expected to deliver three tonnes, or even a bit more, to the acre.

However the prices scenario continues to remain depressed for the grain sector with many of them represented at last week’s IFA incomes protest in Dublin last week.

Green barley at 20% moisture is making in the region of €150 per tonne but even with the higher yield the grain men are struggling to break even on this figure.

Downward pressure on grain prices in world markets is the main problem for the Galway and Irish grain growers as they bargain with the merchants to try and secure the best possible deals.

“The yields have been very good this year with over four tonnes to the acre returned for spring barley but at current prices no one is making any money from the harvest. Break even is the best we can hope for,” Galway IFA Grain Representative, John Daly told the Farming Tribune.

The Killconnell grain farmer said that what was crippling the grain farmers was the high cost of inputs, especially fertiliser, and the low prices on offer.

“We really would need to be buying in fertiliser at about €100 a tonne less than what we’re paying at present for it. With the current cost of inputs, it’s just impossible to make any money from grain,” said John Daly.

He attributed the strong yields this year to a very benign April [our best month of the year so far] that gave excellent growing conditions in terms of sunshine and soil temperatures.

“Although the rest of our summer was poor, the grain crops got a tremendous early boost from the weather in April. We certainly have no complaints about the yields but the figures at the end of the season just aren’t adding up,” said John Daly.

All of the winter barley crops in Galway have been cut for the past three weeks or so with the combines now in full swing harvesting the spring crops.

IFA National Grain Chairman Liam Dunne said that the EU Commission must act now to stem the deepening income crisis developing on tillage farms. Failure to control undue influence by speculative investors on grain and oilseed prices, and anti-competitive practices by fertiliser manufacturers, is compounding the income situation, he said.

“Harvest prices for the third year in a row will struggle to cover production costs, despite good yields, as investors bet on international grain and oilseed prices moving lower.

Farmers will once again end up subsidising grain production from their basic/greening payment or other reserves that are well depleted this stage following on from a prolonged period of low grain prices,” said Liam Dunne.

He said that the relentless price/cost squeeze was negatively impacting on the tillage sector and unless there was a serious realignment of the cost base, arable crop farming would have a limited future in Europe, never mind Ireland.

Connacht Tribune

Suffolks make €2,500 at Roscommon sale

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Alastair Barclay judging the stock at the Suffolk Show and Sale in Roscommon earlier this month.

THE standard and quality of sheep presented at the 51st Premier Show & Sale of West of the Ireland Registered Pedigree Suffolk Sheep Breeders Club took place in Roscommon Mart on Saturday, August 6 was top class.

Judge, Mr Alaister Barclay of the renowned Northern Ireland Flock, Redbrae Suffolks, was faced with a difficult task in judging the classes.

Harry Graham of the Westside Flock, Sligo, won the Young Handler’s Class which he founded in 2019 – this was his third win of the year.

The Summerhill flock of Mattie and Kevin Kelly in Galway won the Champion Ewe Lamb Cass – sired by Howgillfoot Batman.

In the Novice Ram Class, new breeder, Caillin Joyce of the Ballintleva Flock, Westport, took the spoils and he also went to claim 4th in the Open Ram class.

In the Gigot Class, it was the turn of the Ballygarris Flock of Michael and Marie Jennings, Mayo to take the honours with Windyhill Magic sired lamb. The Jennings’ winning run continued in the Open Class where they claimed the top spot with a powerful Strathbogie Joel son which was born to a Ballygarris Ewe.

The Pairs Class saw 7 flocks competing for the top honours and it was the Loughrynn Flock of Coote & Trevor Geelan who won out here.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Farmland in strong demand across Galway

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Colm Farrell: Good farmland across Galway is making around €10,000 an acre.

A TIGHT supply with strong demand probably sums up the Galway market for farmlands so far this year with prices averaging out at around the €10,000 an acre mark.

According to Gort auctioneer, Colm Farrell, the demand for the better-quality farmland is particularly strong and especially so if neighbouring farmers are in competition for the ground.

He also pointed out that dairy farmers were also very keenly interested in farmland that became available either in their general area or bordering their farms.

“The demand is very strong here in Galway for good quality land which can be in scarce enough supply.

“Many neighbouring or nearby farmers will see this as a one-off chance to increase their holding,” Colm Farrell told the Farming Tribune.

He also said that the ‘auction’ sale method seemed to deliver the biggest demand and competition for land coming on the market. “Auctions do tend to focus the minds of buyers,” he said.

Next month, Colm Farrell will have two farms both coming up for sale at public auction in O’Sullivan’s of Gort on Friday, September 16 next – both 70-acre holdings – one of them in Peterswell and the other in Aughrim.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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Connacht Tribune

Flexibility and budget worries over direction of new scheme

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Michael Biggins: Disappointed at scheme.

THE new ACRES (Agri Climate Rural Environment Scheme) due to be rolled out on January 1 next is ‘restrictive and complicated’ according to West of Ireland farming representative.

IFA Rural Development Chairman, Michael Biggins, said that the proposed scheme was ‘far from a new REPS’ and urgently needed to be modified in terms of flexibility and budget allocation.

“As it’s currently proposed, ACRES is restrictive and complicated.  It will inflict more compliance costs on farmers, resulting in less income.

“The scheme is designed to discourage people from farming. In order to achieve the average payment, farmers will have to commit more land to lower levels of production compared to previous schemes,” said Michael Biggins.

He added that all farmers who applied needed to be accepted into the scheme while those farmers applying in 2023 would have to be paid in the same year.

Details of the €1.5 billion ACRES scheme were outlined by the Dept. of Agriculture in June with two entry streams – a general or individual one: and a co-operation model for environmentally sensitive area including Connemara and parts of South Galway and Mayo.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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