Farm Ireland

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Spring barley hits €148 per tonne as shortfall kicks in

Winter barley has thrived
Winter barley has thrived
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

Strong competition for restricted grain supplies on the home market has pushed the price of barley off the combine to as high as €148/t, the IFA claimed this week.

However, this assertion was challenged by merchants, who said prices remained in flux and that returns to growers would not be finalised until later in the harvest.

"Empty stores and a shortfall of 200,000t of Irish barley this harvest, due to a combination of area reduction and yield drop, has resulted in buyers competing strongly for grain," the IFA's Liam Dunne maintained.

"Prices of up to €148/t plus transport are on offer for barley off the combine as a consequence."

Most price predictions for this year's harvest are in the €135-145/t range but Mr Dunne insisted that better deals are on offer and he advised farmers to "sell hard".

These price skirmishes represented the extent of the activity on the harvest front for the last week, as poor weather stalled combines.

Winter barley

Nearly all of the winter barley has been cut in the main tillage areas. Cutting of malting barley has started in The Hook in Wexford and around Bagenalstown, Co Carlow.

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Very little information on yields was available as we went to press but it is understood that the protein limits for some malting barley crops going for distilling have been increased from 8.8pc to 9.3pc.

Fields of winter oats were cut in north Dublin over the last few days, with crops yielding 3.4-3.9t/ac.

In south Tipperary yields of up to 4t/ac were reported in what were described as "super crops". These were cut at 56-60kph and 15-16pc moisture.

Small areas of winter wheat has been cut so far. Growers are said to be generally happy with the crops, with early yields ranging from 3.6t/ac to 4.4t/ac.

A bigger spread in yields has been recorded for oilseed rape, with crops varying from 1t/ac to 2t/ac. The crop is generally yielding around 1.6-1.7t/ac.

Meanwhile, demand for straw remains strong.

In the south 4x4 bales of barley are selling ex-field at €14, with €28 being quoted for 8x4x3 bales. More is being charged in the west, with up to €18/bale being paid for 4x4 bales.

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