Tillage sector faces €9m loss on poor harvest
A massive fall in tillage area for 2017 is being predicted because of this year's disappointing harvest.
The IFA warned that sowings this autumn could be down by 15,000ha, meaning that the total area under tillage will have fallen by 20pc in five years.
The IFA national grain committee chairman, Liam Dunne, said grain sowings this autumn were likely to drop under 260,000ha.
Cereal sowing have been in constant decline since 2012 when they stood at 320,000ha. Plantings were back for the current harvest by almost 16,000ha or close to 40,000ac.
Mr Dunne said the joint hammer blows of poor yield and low prices had combined to totally erode farmer confidence.
"Some 40pc of cereals are grown on rented land. I can see farmers walking away from expensive land and leasing out entitlements if they have to," Mr Dunne said.
"At least they'll get 70pc to 75pc of the value of their entitlements up front, which is around €250/ac if their entitlements are worth €320/ac," he pointed out.
The IFA official also predicted that many of the 11,000 growers who had mixed tillage and livestock farms will row back on the area planted.