Last week’s budget announced a €10m spend for the tillage sector with little in the way of explanation as to what it was for. Since then, the Minister for Agriculture has indicated that straw incorporation was a targeted objective. This is not too surprising, in that this is the only measure currently included for tillage in the carbon MACC curve.

Incorporating straw is a carbon-related measure with many side benefits. But the last thing any grain grower should do is plough in straw directly. It needs to be chopped first and then it needs to be mixed with the soil immediately after harvest, to enable early and faster breakdown.