Livestock rations are set to incur a £20/t increase in April, with several feed merchants also hinting at a similar increase for May.

Most merchants will apply the outlined price rise from 1 April, although other feed mills are holding off for another week.

Once applied, the latest price increase will bring a beef growing ration to approximately £325/t with a 50% maize finishing ration likely to cost in the region of £320/t.

For dairy rations, prices are set to rise above £350/t with 20% protein rations costing around £370/t for April.

Ewe rations are set to rise towards £350/t although sales of such blends are now well past their seasonal peak.

Last April, general-purpose beef rations were typically £250/t, with dairy blends and ewe rations in the region of £290/t.

This is a £70 to £80/t increase year on year, which could rise to a £100/t differential should feed prices rise again in May.


While individual farmers are fully exposed to these price hikes, dairy and beef farmers who buy rations through purchasing groups have had a fixed price locked in from 1 October to 31 March.

However, rather than experience the full extent of a price increase that would bring purchasing groups in line with current ration prices, it is understood that feed mills are offering deals to retain the business of these groups over the next few months.


With spot markets extremely volatile, prices for straights are only available on application to purchase.

Some quotes that are available put rolled barley delivered on farm around £360 to 370/t with maize meal above £350/t.

Soya is currently costing £550/t on farm, with distillers around £385 to £390/t. Sugar beet pulp is close to £380/t.


Meanwhile, reports on fertiliser indicate the market is extremely quiet with very few transactions carried out in recent weeks once CAN hit £900/t.

Some reports indicate there are deals on CAN easing to £840/t, but even then, buyers are few and far between.

Read more

1m tonnes of Irish food waste could be used to make fertiliser

Sheep price update: sharper trade as cull ewes increase by €5 to €10