Poor barley crop will hit con-acre demand
Many large tillage farmers will lease their entitlements rather than take on expensive con-acre, a leading Cork auctioneer has said.
Eamonn O'Brien of CCM Property Network in east Cork said it would be hard to see last year's con-acre prices repeated given the difficult harvest.
The con-acre market kicks off over the next fortnight, with the first land parcels already coming on the market in Cork.
While higher than expected winter wheat and spring barley yields have given struggling cereal growers a welcome boost, it is widely accepted that poor prices and yields in the main winter barley crop will hit the con-acre market this autumn.
Over €340/ac was paid for tillage ground in exceptional cases last year, with a sizeable proportion costing between €170/ac and €250/ac.
However, Pat Minnock, the Carlow-based agricultural consultant, insisted that similar prices could not be justified this autumn.
"The typical cost of growing an acre of winter barley is €500, or the equivalent of 4t/ac. That's on owned land and not even factoring in a con-acre price," he said.