Tillage: Harvest 2016 is a serious reality check for many in tillage sector
I've heard harvest 2016 being described as the perfect storm of bad yields, bad quality, bad prices and bad weather.
It has brought a lot of farmers back to reality as regards profitability. I don't know how any tillage farmer can afford high rents this coming year. Every weather forecast for the last six weeks must have included the phrase "scattered showers".
We haven't started our wheat but when checking to see if is it fit, we can see that the grains are very varied. That is the word I would use for a lot of crops this year, varied. The fields are uneven and the grain size is very mixed.
The barley was very varied as well. Some parts of the field were particularly bad especially the wet areas, and others were very good.
On average the six row (Meridian), which did very well for us last year, was way back this year at 3.4t/ac. Last year it was close to 5t/ac. The two row (Tower) did better at 3.8t/ac at 66kph.
If you take the Teagasc figures of winter barley growing costs, they calculate it to be approximately €494/ac. I believe that this is a very accurate figure, if you include all your costs properly.
However at €135/t by 3.8t/ac this comes to €513, less €494 to grow it and we are left with €19/ac on owned land.
Most farmers are not getting €135/t, at the moment its closer to €125, and I certainly don't agree with the IFA that €135 is a fair price.