Clean up through trading
Forward selling of grain can be a highly profitable and satisfying enterprise -- as long as you know what you're doing. Here we present you with essential tips and some of the pitfalls to avoid
Grain trading in Ireland is undergoing a sea change as farmers seek ways to avoid selling their entire crop on one day. Farmers sold around 150,000t of grain forward this year, a huge increase on the 10,000t that was forward sold in the recent past.
Kildare-based Philip Doyle and his brother, Brendan, are two farmers who use forward selling to their advantage every year.
The pair farm 1,200ac of crops and 400ac of grass in the Athy/Rathangan area and are known for running a tight ship. A large portion of their farmed land is rented.
Straight-talking Philip outlined their methodology at the recent Teagasc tillage crops forum in Newbridge.
The pair buy chemicals from merchants for cash price only, either at 30 or 60 days. All their grain is dried and stored on farm until agreed collection days with their buyers.
"We practise forward selling only, nothing else," he said. "The reason? To prevent a loss occurring on the farm in any year, because when the farm makes a loss someone doesn't get paid."
Mr Doyle said there are four main influences on whether a farm makes a profit or a loss in any year: