Speaking following the publication of the Food Vision Tillage report, IFA grain chair Kieran McEvoy has said that the release of the report is welcome, nearly one year since the process started.

“It’s vital that actions identified in the report are implemented swiftly to prevent terminal damage to the tillage sector.

Tillage farmers have faced a perfect storm since summer 2023, with falling grain prices; input costs remaining high; loss of rented land; and heavy rainfall right up until the middle of April this year. Thankfully, the weather has improved in recent weeks, but the delay in planting this spring will hit tillage incomes hard in 2024,” he said.

“There is no question that our tillage sector is fighting for its very future. The Government says it wants to have more tillage production and this will only happen if they step up and support growers,” he said.

Tillage sector

Kieran McEvoy said in light of the difficulties in the tillage sector, IFA has proposed a €250/ha, five-year payment for tillage farmers.

“The €100/ha tillage payment announced by Minister McConalogue in March is a step forward in addressing the need for immediate financial support for the sector in 2024, but details on the scheme must be agreed and finalised by the Department urgently,” he said.

“Challenges in the tillage sector extend beyond the need for Government funding in 2024. It is welcoming to see the report identify the urgent need for actions to drive preferential use of native feed grains and facilitate the movement of organic manure onto tillage farms.

"These actions are important in helping to underpin the future sustainability of the tillage sector. The IFA Grain Committee will continue to work on these issues,” Kieran McEvoy concluded.