Tillage sector faces serious disruption from Brexit
IRELAND’S tillage sector could experience considerable disruption and dislocation from a ‘Hard Brexit’, Professor Jimmy Burke of UCD claimed.
However, he expressed confidence that a vibrant tillage industry would survive the challenge because the manufacturing feed industry could not operate without the “strategic supplies” local growers provided.
Prof Burke said Ireland’s dependence on imported feedstuffs meant that domestic cereal growers were not as dependent on export markets.
However, he pointed out that the interdependence of the Irish and British supply chains meant that Ireland exported between 300,000t and 400,000t of grain to Britain and Northern Ireland annually, and this trade would be directly affected.
Speaking at an Agriculture Post-Brexit Conference at the Lismullin Institute in Co Meath, Prof Burke said that Brexit would have a very localised as well as national impact.
He pointed out that growers in the northeast were particularly exposed to Brexit, as much of the local trade in cereals and straw is with Northern buyers.
He estimated that the imposition of trade tariffs would add around €40m to the cost of Irish exports, and this did not take account of currency fluctuations.