Tillage farmer calls for united front to support beef farmers through Brexit

John Cullen with his Bateman Spayer. Picture: Patrick Browne
John Cullen with his Bateman Spayer. Picture: Patrick Browne
Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

The damage Brexit will do to the Irish beef sector will have a serious knock on effect on the tillage sector according to John Cullen, the Zurich Insurance/Farming Independent Tillage farmer of the year.

Speaking at the Teagasc National Tillage conference, he said that beef farmers are the largest users of grain and buy a lot of straw from tillage farmers and the impact of them under pressure from Breixt would be felt in the tillage sector.

He called on tillage farmers to work with beef farmers. "The tillage man might have to work with the beef man. They say the tillage or beef man will disappear, he won't disappear, if the tillage man will work with them for a year or two to get them back on their feet.

John farms with his brothers Francis and Stephen. They run a tillage operation of 2,100 acres between them in Co Wexford. John also runs an Agricultural Merchant business, John Cullen Grain Ltd. which he started 14 years ago.

"The beef man is one of the most important men in this country, keeping the whole thing going for tillage and beef."

During the recession, he said, it was the farming sector that got the whole country back on its feet again.

John Spink, Teagasc; Steven Kildea, Teagasc; Guy Smith, Deputy President of National Farmers Union; Fiona Thorne, Teagasc; John Cullen, Tillage Farmer; Ewen Mullins Teagasc and Andy Doyle, Irish Farmers Journal pictured the Teagasc National Tillage Conference 2019 at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny.
Picture Dylan Vaughan.
John Spink, Teagasc; Steven Kildea, Teagasc; Guy Smith, Deputy President of National Farmers Union; Fiona Thorne, Teagasc; John Cullen, Tillage Farmer; Ewen Mullins Teagasc and Andy Doyle, Irish Farmers Journal pictured the Teagasc National Tillage Conference 2019 at the Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

"We're outside the M50 around Dublin and we have to support each other as people up there don't understand what's going on outside the M50. But we know and if we stick together we'll get everyone through it and keep the country gonig."

Guy Smith, the Deputy President of the UK's National Farmers Union, backed Cullen and said that it is now up to farmers to work together and that a unite front would always work better than a divided group.

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