There is a “big push” on maize this year according to Samco’s managing director Robert Shine, who said that farmers who would have normally sown 10 to 15 acres are now upping it to 20ac.

A very wet March, empty pits and the dread of another fodder shortage are the key drivers of increased maize plantings, according to Shine.

“It’s not that long ago that we had our second fodder shortage in less than a decade,” he said.

A lot of the increase is coming from farmers who would have previously grown maize and are looking to grow more, Shine said.

“If March hadn’t been as wet, it could have been a different story and we could be odds on even to last year,” he said, adding that some farmers who would have sown barley have switched over to maize.

This year will see the majority of farmers use compostable film. This film costs €50-€70/ac more than the old type.

A roll, which covers one acre, is costing between €200 and €240, depending on the size of order.