Pesticide prices could increase by as much as 40% this year for individual products, trade sources have confirmed.

However, merchants are resisting the latest hikes by manufacturers and agreed price lists for fungicides and herbicides have been delayed as a consequence.

Nonetheless, both manufacturers and merchants agreed that growers’ spend on crop protection products is likely to increase by between 15% and 20% on average for crops such as winter wheat, winter barley and spring barley this year.

These price rises will pile further pressure on cereal growers, who are already carrying additional input costs in terms of fertiliser, fuel and seed - as well as higher land rental charges and significantly weaker grain prices.

Increases in the pipeline

While the product manufacturers declined to comment on the record, they conceded that significant price increases were in the pipeline.

“Some active ingredients will increase by 5%, 6% or 7%, but there’s talk of others going up by as much as 40%,” one senior company executive told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“The price increases are coming, but they will be on a product-by-product basis,” he added.

Industry sources maintained that herbicide prices could increase by 10% to 25%, with fungicides generally around 10% to 15% dearer.

Based on Teagasc figures, a 15% to 20% overall hike in pesticides prices will add a further €55 to €75/ha to the input costs on winter wheat.

The additional input costs on winter barley will be in the order of €45 to €60/ha, while on spring barley it will be €30 to €60/ha.

Energy charges

Manufacturers claim that the cost increases stem directly from the higher energy charges which flowed from the conflict in Ukraine.

They argue that farmers escaped these higher charges last year, as the active ingredients were produced prior to the war’s outbreak.

However, merchants maintained that they were still battling with manufacturers on the extent of the increases and that final list prices for products had not as yet been agreed.

On a positive note, the cost of glyphosate looks set to fall by 18% to 20%.