IFA grain committee chair Mark Browne has stated that the exact percentages of feed constituents should be printed on feed labels, along with the country of origin in cases where grain is imported.

“As farmers, we rightly demand clear and precise labelling on products destined for the final consumer. The same demands should be placed on those supplying feed inputs,” he said.

Current minimum statutory requirements necessitate the listing of the main feed constituents in descending order of inclusion weights. These requirements are integral to Bord Bia livestock quality assurance schemes.

An extension of these requirements to include sourcing and exact inclusion information would allow farmers to prioritise the purchase of native grain and protein animal feedstuffs, according to Browne.

Irish feed

He also went on to highlight the benefits to Irish tillage farmers of increases in the cost of imported maize.

“We have seen compounders switch back to using high-quality Irish grain this year, which is welcome as the price of imported GM maize increased.

“This is good for the tillage sector as grain stores have emptied for the 2021 harvest.

“There’s an emphasis at Government level on increasing the tillage area in this country, and promoting the use of native grain and protein crops in livestock rations,” Browne said.