Providing effective representation for Tillage Farmers in Ireland086

Grain growers call for exceptional payment for tillage farmers

The Irish Grain Growers’ Group (IGGG) has called for an exceptional payment for tillage farmers after what it called “one of the most challenging seasons in living memory”.
Now that that season has ended, the IGGG has said that “a case must be made” for the government to consider an exceptional aid payment in 2023 to active tillage farmers.
The group said: “It is right to say that tillage farmers feel like they are being hit from all sides this year.”
The IGGG pointed to some of the key factors that have made the season a difficult one in the tillage sector, including the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which, the group said, has resulted in lower payments for up to 70% of tillage farmers.
As well as that, growers have been faced with an “extremely high cost of production”.
“While fertiliser prices have eased, they did not ease in time for tillage farmers to avail of this spring. Practically all chemical fertiliser is applied to crops by mid- to late-April,” the group said.

It added: “Plant protection products rose in price, some by up to 25%. Prohibitive diesel prices are another example. Machinery and spare parts are rising substantially in price.”
These issues came on top of a growing season which the IGGG described as “a real struggle from start to finish”.
The group said: “Many winter crop specialists couldn’t plant all the area they planned due to rain last autumn. March was a complete washout which should be peak spring-sowing time, and key crop husbandry of winter crops was extremely difficult.”
The IGGG added: “Many didn’t get to start to sow until mid-April and planting only completed in May. This was followed by drought which hit spring barley yield especially, but no crop escaped its impact.
“This was followed by extreme wet again, which hit crops at peak grain fill-time.”
The grain grower representative body said that grain markets are back at least 33% on 2022.

“This and the high cost of production is leaving farmers with serious financial concerns,” it said.
The group also drew attention to an issue that it says effects tillage farmers but is not one of their making, namely the nitrates derogation.
According to the IGGG, tillage farmers are “feeling the brunt of a hot land-rental market”, with dairy farmers looking to acquire more land to offset their organic nitrogen (N) stocking rate.
“The government has already supported other sectors this year with the likes of the Fodder Support Scheme. The precedence is there. If this government is serious about its Climate Action Plan and wanting to increase the tillage area it must consider financial support to a sector when it’s struggling,” the group said.
It added: “Other sectors have gotten the support when requested. This government cannot fail us in our time of need.”

Charles O’Donnell
September 18, 2023 10:00 am