Providing effective representation for Tillage Farmers in Ireland086

Miller returned as chair of Grain Growers’ Group at AGM

Richard Halleron

February 1, 2024 4:00 pm

The Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) recently hosted its 2024 annual general meeting (AGM) at Ballykilcavan Brewery, near Stradbally in Co. Laios.
The event saw Bobby Miller and Clive Carter returned as chair and secretary, respectively, for a further 12-month term.
Both also attended the 2024 Teagasc National Tillage Conference in Kilkenny this week.
Miller said: “Our members want to see something done to differentiate home-grown grain from imports.
“It’s not within Bord Bia’s remit to promote the specific marketing needs of the grain sector. If this remains the case then a standalone organisation should be set up to meet this requirement.
“Irish tillage farmers must receive a premium price for the cereals they produce.
“The work of the [Food Vision] Tillage Group is coming to an end with a final report to be published over the coming weeks,” Miller added.

Crop insurance for grain growers
The IGGG chair confirmed that a form of crop insurance scheme will be an integral part of the recommendations contained within the final report.
“We envisage such a scheme being paid for by three main groupings – the government, grain processers and farmers,” he continued.
Meanwhile IGGG membership numbers have doubled over the past 18 months.  
Clive Carter commented: “IGGG is a fully recognised stakeholder by government. As a result, we are representing tillage farmers on a range of issues that have a direct impact on the future of the crops sector.”
The IGGG secretary said he expects membership numbers to strengthen further during the period ahead.

The IGGG office bearers are predicting a reduction in the overall area of land that is dedicated to crops in 2024. They cite spring barley seed availability as a key issue in this context
In turn, this places a significant question mark on the target set by government to expand Ireland’s tillage area up to 2030.
Miller stated: “The government must step in and genuinely support the industry as it looks to the future. Otherwise the target of having 400,000ha of land dedicated to crop production by 2030 will not be met.
“Tillage has the lowest carbon footprint of all the sectors within Irish agriculture.
“And all of this can be built on for the future. But this can only happen on the back of real support from the government.”
The members of the IGGG office bearer team view the publication of the final Food Vision Tillage Group report as a pivotal moment for the crops sector.
“Government must act on the recommendations within the final report. There is no plan B,” Miller concluded.