An Irish man farming in Romania near the border with Ukraine says his “farm minibuses at the border” are “transporting Ukrainian refugees to airports and other destinations”.

Jim McCarthy said his farm is using its existing staff accommodation to house Ukrainian mothers with young children and will be permanently catering for a large group of people with special needs until the war is over.

He said he will continue to do this as long as there is a need.

The Irishman made his comments during the latest episode of the Teagasc Tillage Edge podcast.

Farm impact

Speaking during the podcast, McCarthy said the supply and sale of goods from his farm business has been affected by the war in Ukraine, but said that good planning during 2021 allowed the business to build sufficient stocks of fertilisers and other farm inputs.

On the sale of grain, he said: “It pays to store and hold grain for sale late into the season, which has allowed the business to take advantage of the sharp increase in prices this year.”

He reported that although there were some initial concerns about exporting grain through ports in the Black Sea, these have eased and he said exports of grain from Romania through Constanta Port are continuing.


In order to mitigate the increased cost of fertilisers and the increased forward price of grains, McCarthy said he reduced the area of maize grown and increased the area of soya and sunflowers.

“In the past few years, we have worked hard to increase P and K soil levels on the farm and have applied over 30,000t of lime, with the result we can reduce the amount of fertilisers applied this year.”

According to McCarthy, some farmers in the western part of Ukraine have started to plant crops and apply fertiliser. However, this is not the case everywhere.

“The most productive land, with the largest farms, is in eastern Ukraine and given that the major part of the war is happening there, farmers in that region are going to find it difficult to plant spring crops.”

The full interview on the Teagasc Tillage Edge podcast with Jim McCarthy can be found here.

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