Providing effective representation for Tillage Farmers in Ireland086

IGGG: ‘We need to plan to grow more grain in Ireland’

The Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG) has called on the government to immediately establish a tillage taskforce.

During a meeting with seven farming organisations this week, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue announced the establishment of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee (NFFSC) in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The committee, which is tasked with developing a farm resilience plan, will meet for the first time tomorrow (Friday, March 11) .

The minister is also formulating a multi-million euro package of supports to ensure farmers can grow enough feed and fodder.

Grain production

Following this week’s meeting, IGGG outlined that the seed industry indicated there is currently capacity for around 40,000ha of extra grain including wheat, barley and oats.

A survey of seed supply is currently underway in the industry; IGGG added if extra seed is needed for 2023 it must be highlighted as soon as possible.

It said that the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS) needs to be expanded to include all tillage equipment.

IGGG also called for immediate recognition of native Irish grains and legumes and financial rewards for growing such crops.

The group explained that access to land will be an issue for the tillage sector in order to be able to grow more grain.

It said there was “little likelihood” of an increase in tillage in most of the west as machinery capacity is not there.

“Farmers who have not grown grain in the past 20 years are unlikely to have the required expertise to grow high yielding crops,” IGGG stated.

The group called on the government to address the prohibitive costs of fertiliser and fuel “in a comprehensive manner”.

It added that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will need to be reviewed so tillage farmers are not penalised for planting more crops.

“Countries are shutting their doors on exports, including grain, to preserve food security.

“There is a humanitarian issue building in the Ukraine but we must also recognise that Ireland entering into the world market for grain/grain by-products is taking much needed food out of poorer countries supply chain.

“We need to plan to grow more grain in Ireland. We grow grain as good as grass here in Ireland yet we only have 7% under grain production. That’s one third of what’s possible but unfortunately not probable with current and past policy,” IGGG concluded.

Via Agriland