GRAIN markets have strengthened with just two weeks to go until the first combines roll, after torrential rain took its toll across key states in the US.
The IFA's grain chairman Liam Dunne said prices have begun to move "slowly and steadily upwards", after tillage farmers suffered low prices over the past few seasons.
A series of international weather events in key regions are being pinpointed as the cause of the rise in prices in recent days.
Prices rose on the back of the stronger markets, with Glanbia quoting an extra €5/t to €155/t for green wheat, and €138/t for green barley yesterday.
The IFA's Fintan Conway said investors and hedge funds have been "caught off side" in their predictions of a bumper world grain harvest and are now out in the marketplace buying.
"Torrential rains across a number of key states in the US Midwest have taken their toll on the soft red wheat crop," he said.
Mr Conway also pointed out that the Australian El Nino - bringing widespread drought - has continued to develop and wheat production forecasts have been cut to an eight year low of less than 20 million tonnes.
However, John Spink from Teagasc, warned the yield potential of both winter and spring barley are very variable this year.