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Grainmen urged to monitor prices

Tillage farmers have been warned to keep a close eye on grain markets as forward prices recover after recent falls. With 35,000ha of extra cereals sown for this year's harvest, industry experts say a good growing season and harvest could see the national crop reach two million tonnes.

This would equate to an extra 300,000t of grain on the market this year.

While grain merchants do not release official figures, it is believed that up to 20pc of the national crop has been forward sold in advance of this year's harvest.


The proportion of individual crops sold ranges from just 10pc in the Cork region, to as high as 25pc in south Tipperary.

Growers in the Wexford/ Waterford region are believed to have sold around 15pc of their crop, while tillage men in the northeast have sold around 20pc of their expected harvest. The most recent forward price offer from Glanbia was €160/t for green barley in September, €167 for green wheat in September and €172 for November wheat.

International futures markets have recovered well after prices for wheat plummeted by some £44/t (€50/t) in the space of four days last month.

However, IFA grain chairman Noel Delany and grain secretary Fintan Conway have both urged farmers to keep a very close eye on grain markets to help make informed decisions about when to sell their crops.


"Farmers need to check grain prices at least once a week so that they are not lulled into a false sense of security that prices will continue to rise," urged Mr Conway.

"At the moment dry weather across Europe has added a weather premium to prices.

"If this [weather] continues, then there could be more of an upside to the market but a few bad weeks could reverse everything."

Mr Conway said growers should keep in touch with what was happening on the markets.

"There is no guarantee that current prices will continue to climb."

He added that all too often growers only thought about selling grain forward when the market had already turned.

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