Conacre and grain price link promoted
A LEADING Teagasc specialist has urged farmers to link land rental costs to the price of green grain next harvest.
The move follows reports of an early rise in the cost of conacre on the back of improved grain prices.
Deals on some smaller land parcels have already been closed at €15-20/ac higher than last year.
With tillage farmers still struggling to reduce significant debt burdens from the past two harvests, any move to increase prices will be met with fierce resistance.
Teagasc tillage specialist Ivan Whitten urged farmers to agree deals based on the price of green grain next harvest.
"It's the fairest way to do it," he insisted. "Who is to know what will happen to grain price next year?
"This way, if grain price goes up, the landowner gets more rent and if grain price falls, the tillage grower is not destroyed," he said.
Where farmers have used this system, most agree a payment of 80pc of the green price of 1t of grain from Glanbia, Dairygold or one of the local merchants. Additional details, such as maintenance of hedges, are sometimes included.