Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Sell grain while prices up: Delany

Tillage growers are being urged to assess prices and sell some grain if possible.

IFA grain chairman Noel Delany said international grain prices were on a high and growers would be well advised to examine their stocks and take advantage of prices that suited them.

Prices of €160/t for green new-crop wheat and €155/t for green new-crop barley were being offered in the past week.

Speculation about damage to South American maize crops and the effect of freezing weather conditions in western Europe, Russia and Ukraine have been the main drivers behind rising international grain prices.

However, there is a growing belief that the winter kill in Europe and Ukraine may have been over-estimated.

The combination of higher grain production and lower estimated kills levels could have the effect of reducing grain prices between now and harvest, claimed Mr Delany.

Wrangle delays organic payments

Payments to almost 150 organic farmers who are in AEOS are being delayed because of wrangling over the details of the scheme, the Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association (IOFGA) has said.

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The problems relate to farmers who are AEOS participants but also receive payments under the Organic Farmers Scheme, said IOFGA general manager Gillian Westbrook.

"Payments from the AEOS and Organic Farming Scheme are being held up because the species-rich grassland criteria under AEOS is considered to be the same as the environmental contribution from organic farming practices. In other words, some officials believe farmers are being paid twice for the same contribution," Ms Westbrook said.

"This is outrageously unfair as farmers were not aware of the change which took place in 2011, especially as it was acceptable for 2010 payments.

"We need clear guidelines on criteria so that organic farmers can make an informed choice. It is not acceptable to move the goal posts, especially as farmers will have retained areas of land to fulfil the requirements."

Tralee ag course's popularity jumps

Tralee Institute of Technology has recorded a 17.5pc surge in applications for its agricultural engineering course.

With 36 places on offer, the number of students who applied through the Central Applications Office before February 1 jumped by 11pc compared with last year. The points requirement for the course was 240 points last year.

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