Nearly 50% of tillage farmers have said they will not grow fodder crops this year.

An exclusive survey by the Irish Farmers Journal of 171 tillage farmers found that the 69% of tillage farmers who are planting fodder crops are growing them for themselves, 25% are growing them for a customer and the remaining 6% is on spec.

However, this survey was carried out prior to the Department of Agriculture’s announcement of its €12m package to incentivise the growing of cereal and fodder crops.

The survey findings suggest that the total area sown to crops by tillage farmers will be largely unchanged, with 66% indicating that their acreage of plantings will mirror 2021 levels.

While 20% of tillage farmers said they intended increasing their area of plantings this year, 14% said they planned to reduce their acreage under crops.

When asked if they would plant more beans or peas to decrease total farm nitrogen use, 80% of tillage farmers said they wouldn’t be planting such crops.

Nutrient use

Furthermore, 64% of tillage farmers said they would be cutting back on nutrient use across their farms in response to higher prices.

Separately, less than a quarter of beef farmers said they would be willing to grow silage on contract for other farmers, while just 29% had completed a fodder budget for 2022-23.

farmers took part in the survey carried out in the last week by the Irish Farmers Journal.

Some 52% of respondents were beef farmers, 18% were sheep farmers, 18% were dairy farmers and 7% were tillage farmers. Two percent were horticulture farmers, 2% were in poultry and 1% were pig farmers.