Tillage growers on 'inputs' warpath
Tillage farmers have vowed to get tough on the crippling cost of tillage inputs in an effort to glean a profit from cereals this year.
Challenging chemical and fertiliser companies was just one of the many strategies put forward at the inaugural meeting of Grain Ireland on Thursday night.
More than 200 tillage farmers packed into the Horse and Jockey hotel in Co Tipperary to hear how Ireland's newest tillage-farmer representatives plan to increase profitability for cereals growers.
Among the suggestions put forward from the floor were traceability checks for boatloads of imported grain, the pooling of grain in local selling groups, and the direct importation of chemicals and fertiliser.
"We are in a dire situation, where we are paying too much for our inputs and not getting enough for our grain," Grain Ireland's Colm Fingleton said. "We need to challenge chemical and fertiliser prices, because we can't stay whipping ourselves."
Grower Robert O'Shea added: "Merchants should be reminded of the handsome profits they make on every acre of our land from inputs. I reckon the merchants make the same profit per acre on my land as I lost last year."
Several farmers at the meeting maintained that imported grain should be subject to rigorous checks and even quarantine to reduce its appeal compared to native grain.