Russia is one of the largest grain exporters in the world, exporting in the region of 30m tonnes of grain annually, with Ukraine not far behind exporting roughly 20m to 25m tonnes.
Supply from both of these countries has now been thrown into limbo, with an embargo placed over Russian exports to EU countries, and the impact Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had on planting.
Homegrown grain will have to take a more prominent place in rations for next winter, requiring additional storage and drying facilities in the coming months.
Failing to secure adequate facilities will have a devastating effect on not only the tillage industry, but the livestock industry as well.
The tillage incentive scheme will have been a valid but poorly executed scheme if we have thousands of tonnes of green grain going to waste post-harvest.
In this Focus, we look at a large grain storage and drying facility built in Co Meath in recent months.
In much the same way that grain supply has been thrust in to the unknown, so too has the supply and cost of artificial fertiliser. Never before has there been such a focus on utilising slurry and farmyard manure on farms in Ireland.
What was once a cumbersome byproduct is now a valuable asset for soil fertility.
Farmers are adopting low-emissions slurry spreading (LESS) technology at an increased rate to minimise nitrogen losses through ammonia escaping in to the atmosphere.
This ammonia loss has also taken focus regarding outdoor slurry stores, with the Climate Action Plan released in December 2020 stating that all new outdoor slurry stores from January 2022 were to be covered, with existing slurry stores to be covered as soon as possible but no later than 31 December 2027.
However, no information on what will suffice for a cover has been given by the Department.
We take a look at some of the options that may be adopted by farmers to fulfil this obligation here.