Grain growers face €7m hit this harvest
Poor winter barley yields will whip €7m out of grain growers' pockets this harvest, despite upward movement on quotes for fried wheat and barley.
Industry sources report that yields range from 2.5t/ac to 3.5t/ac with only the best crops topping 3.8-4t/ac.
James English from South Tipperary has three-quarters of his winter barley cut, with the 2-row averaging 3.2t/ac and the 6-row yielding 3t/ac."They're fine crops going in but the yields are very disappointing," Mr English said.
Kildare grower Helen Harris said 2-row crops were yielding 3.3t/ac, with 6-row crops averaging 3.5t/ac.
The expectation in Cork is that yields will struggle to average 3.2t/ac, IFA sources report.
There is less cut in the northeast but the indications are that many crops are struggling to do much over 3t/ac. However, growers are hoping for better yields when they get further into the crop.
IFA grain committee chairman Liam Dunne claimed the national crop average could be as low as 3.2t/ac, or 0.7t/ac below last year's average. "The fall in yield alone before factoring in a price drop will whip approximately €7m out of winter barley grower's pockets," said Mr Dunne adding urgent action was needed at both national and EU level to support struggling growers.
"The Government must move to create a properly functioning banking system to give farmers and SMEs access to competitively priced funds. Many growers are forced to rely on expensive merchant credit because of Ireland's dysfunctional banking system," he said.