Farm Ireland

Saturday 25 November 2017

Record yields predicted as harvest remains lively

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The grain harvest progressed well throughout the weekend, with farmers making the most of dry spells before the forecasted downpours are due to hit later this week.

In addition to prices holding well, crops continue to average exceptional yields. Many observers are convinced that the previous record of 10.4t/ha averaged by winter wheat crops in 2004 will be broken if weather permits.

While there are now concerns that storage may become tight and a bumper crop may weaken demand, prices have continued to hold up well, with Glanbia's €154/t for barley setting the base price for all quotes.

The IFA has warned growers not to let talk of turmoil in financial markets and bumper harvests encourage them to accept low prices.

"Cereal prices continue to improve with extremely tight maize stocks and a much reduced US maize harvest," said IFA grain chairman Noel Delany.

"Many buyers are privately acknowledging that green feed barley at 20pc moisture will be at least €160/t, excluding VAT, off the combine. Wheat will make at least €5-7/t over barley."

Mr Delany also highlighted the opening up of export markets for surplus malting barley, with a green price of €170/t as an additional boost to the market.


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New crop Irish dried feed wheat prices are being quoted at €197-199/t collected ex-store, with barley €5-7/t under wheat. A number of buyers are actively buying Cordial and Kingdom wheat for milling. Grade 2 milling at 9pc protein and 220 hagberg is trading at €190-192/t, at 20pc moisture excluding VAT."

Straw prices have taken a major hit, with the market described as being completely "dead". Both wheaten and barley straw have been offered on the flat in the southern half of the country for as little as €25/ac.

"There's too much straw still in store, along with plenty of hay and dairy farmers cutting back feeding," added Mr Delany.

"I would recommend farmers chop the straw if they are receiving anything less than €35/ac."

Mushroom composters are reported to be offering as little as €8/bale for 8x4x4s, although up to €15/bale has also been quoted closer to the composting plants in Wexford. In contrast, farmers in the northeast are securing €35 for similar 8x4x4s delivered for feeding north of the Border.

Although good progress was made in parts of the south, midlands and northeast over the weekend, much of the winter wheat crop remains to be cut. Straw appears to be slow to ripen, even on crops that were sprayed with glyphosate.

Indo Farming