Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) national grain chair Mark Browne has welcomed the grain prices announced by Glanbia earlier this week following the company’s decision to pay €210/t for green barley and €220/t for green wheat inclusive of shareholder bonuses for harvest 2021.

Browne commented: “With the planted cereal area increasing by 3.7% this year, it is very encouraging to see the tillage sector expanding again.”

The chair also welcomed the decision from the country’s largest maltster, Boortmalt, to pay a final price of €237.67/t for malting barley this year.

“The FOB Creil pricing model has delivered an excellent result for Irish malting barley growers this year, with a further €10/t top-up available for distilling quality malting barley.

Excellent grain quality

“Grain quality is also excellent in 2021, with high bushel weights recorded. Grain merchants and end-users must seek to maximise usage of Irish grain in feed rations over the coming months,” said Browne.

The strong cereal yields experienced in 2021 is expected to produce a national harvest above 2.3 million tonnes, a significant increase on the 1.9 million tonnes produced in 2020.

Despite the excellent harvest results in 2021, spiralling input prices are casting a high degree of uncertainty for growers as they start preparations for harvest 2022.

“With fertiliser and energy prices set to increase significantly, growers need to seriously look at their production costs and consider the forward grain prices available,” the chair concluded.

Browne said that the high grain prices of harvest 2021 provided a much-needed boost in confidence for tillage farmers after several difficult seasons.