Winter wheat prices to hit €170-175 per tonne as dairy farmers buy standing crops
Farmers were forecasting a fall in winter barley yields of 0.5t/ac on average as combines wrapped up the last of the crop in the east and north-east this week.
General reports indicate that yields have been variable, with most crops ranging from 2.5t/ac to 4t/ac and averaging around 3.5t/ac.
This represents a drop in overall yield of around 0.3-0.5t/ac. In addition, growers report a significant fall-off in straw, with volumes back around 40pc in many areas.
Two-row varieties yielded around 3.7/t on average at 65kph in north Kildare. The six-row varieties yielded stronger at 3.9t/ac and 13-15pc moisture, but quality has been poorer, with bushelling of around 60kph.
The winter oats harvest has kicked off in the south, with early crops averaging around 3t/ac at 16-17pc moisture and 53-55kph.
With the winter wheat harvest around 10 days off, IFA grain chairman Mark Browne said there were increasing reports of dairy farmers buying standing crops for whole-cropping.
Prices are understood to range from €900/ac to €1,000/ac, with most of the dairy farmer purchases reported in Cork, Waterford and Wexford.
Merchants are continuing to hold off setting prices but the general view in the trade is that a base of €170-175/t will have to be paid to secure supplies. Industry sources predicted that merchant quotes could be €10/t below actual price levels.