Grain prices have been on an upward trend of late. The Irish Farmers Journal spoke with Rory Deverell earlier this week who explained that it is “not common at all to be in a situation where the market is giving us these good prices in rapeseed, wheat and barley this early”.

Rory explained high demand for corn is a big factor. China’s pig herd is in recovery and so more feed is needed.

To put some perspective on the scale of purchases, he noted that earlier this week China bought approximately 1.68m tonnes of corn over two days – the same amount of corn that Ireland imports over the course of one year.

Price insurance

Rory explained how farmers can reduce risk through forward selling, but also by paying for price insurance which farmers can ask their local merchant about.

Price insurance allows farmers to lock in at a minimum price, while also allowing farmers to gain if the price goes up.

Oilseed rape

On the rise in oilseed rape prices, Rory commented: “Farmers across Europe are turning their back on the crop.”

The area planted in France for this harvest has dropped below one million hectares for the first time in approximately 20 years.

Rory noted that the ban on neonicotinoids has played its part in the decline in the area sown to oilseed rape.

While the price for oilseed rape has sky rocketed in the last few weeks, Rory cautioned farmers against planting large areas of the crop, explaining that “the market’s job is to make sure that high prices don’t stay high”.

There are many different factors affecting grain prices. You can listen to the full podcast below.