Meet the Irish farmer who struck oil in Tipperary
The decision to bottle and market his own rapeseed oil is beginning to reap dividends for tillage farmer Michael Corbett
A Tipperary tillage farmer who sows, harvests and bottles his own cold-pressed rapeseed oil says that the crop is by far his most profitable one.
Michael Corbett of Emerald Oils, New Inn, Co Tipperary undertook three years of market research before his product hit the shelves in 2015.
While he initially took the decision to enter into the rapeseed oil market in an effort to diversify his tillage farm, which consists of oats and barley, he says that the crop has become the most profitable one on his farm.
"You'd be getting a return of two tonnes per acre on rapeseed oil if you'd a good harvest and this year we had a great harvest," he says.
"We dry and sell some of the crop on and get €410/tonne return on that, so that's around €100 profit. Whereas with winter barley you'd be lucky to break even."
With an 11-month growing season, Michael explains that the crop is a "tough" one to grow as sowing time and harvest time are so close in proximity.
"It is a tough crop to grow and harvest time is really critical. It's harvested at the start of August and then it's sown from mid-August to September."
The majority of the oilseed rape is then dried to 8pc moisture, stored in their grain store and bottled and boxed by Michael.