Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 17 August 2018

Grain prices rise by over €10 per tonne

Wheat selling at €175-185/t and dried grain at €205-210/t

Massey Ferguson's 300 HP Activa S6 Combine in action
Massey Ferguson's 300 HP Activa S6 Combine in action
FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

Grain prices have hardened by around €10/t over the last few days on the back of reduced harvest forecasts across Ireland, Britain and the continent.

And farmers believe prices will strengthen further in the coming weeks as Europe’s worst drought in a generation continues to bite.

While firm harvest prices have not been fixed by merchants, farmers report that informal quotes for barley and wheat off the combine has increased to €175-185/t, with dried grain at €205-210.

Growers report that merchants and malting companies have been contacting them over the last week in an effort to secure crops at current prices.

However, growers have been slow to commit to prices or to sell grain, with the general consensus being that prices will rise further.

“Grain prices are only going one way — that’s up,” one Kildare grower maintained.

“Every grower with suitable sheds is storing.”

The latest price hikes have been driven by events in Britain and Europe. Estimates for the German wheat harvest have been reduced to around 18m tonnes, while the Swedish grain crop is forecast to be 40pc back on average yields. This means the Nordic state will move from being a traditional net exporter to an importer to meet domestic requirements. The wheat harvest in Britain has only just begun but there are mounting concerns regarding the overall grain yield, with the spring crops particularly hard hit.

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Cutting of spring barley and winter wheat got going in earnest over the last few days, having been delayed by the weather last week.

Yields

The early indications are that winter wheat yields are variable, with crops varying from 2.5t/ac to over 4t/ac in exceptional cases.

Carlow-based farm consultant Pat Minnock said he had heard of crops yielding up to 4.5t/ac but he said most were averaging around 3.5t/ac.

“This is back 0.5-0.75t/ac on normal yields,” he said.

In south Tipperary winter wheat was generally yielding around 3.2-3.3t/ac.

The spring barley harvest is just getting going, with some crops as poor as was feared.

In Laois and Carlow crops generally yielded 1.8-2.2t/ac, with those fields that got organic manure faring best.

Cutting of winter wheat and spring barley will not get going until the end of the week in the northeast.

Oilseed rape crops are yielding between 1.3t/ac and 1.7t/ac, with a dried price of €370/t being paid.

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