Tillage Industry Ireland (TII) has called for immediate support for the tillage sector to abate the growing crisis and stress at farm level caused by financial and climatic pressures.

“The unprecedented wet spell severely threatens the livelihoods of all farmers, but if crop producers cannot sow seeds, they will not have crops to sell,” a statement read.

“Confidence is now stretched very thinly and further planting delays are even more likely to negatively impact on overall acreage.”

'Definite support'

The group said: "The profitable window for crops like spring wheat and beans is now behind us, so these will need definite support to encourage ongoing planting.

"Yield potential in many winter crops has already been limited by weather-related bare patches, delays in fertiliser application and delays in herbicide application."

TII said a guaranteed protein payment of €580/ha on up to 15,000ha and targeted support for cereal crops of €250/ha should be considered by the Department.

The group also called on grain buyers to provide a minimum green grain price to give confidence in decision making.

They called for a targeted support scheme for land that remains too wet to plant by late May using a combination of catch crops and organic manure to help keep that land in crop production and providing long-term benefit to this land.


"If we get to a point where planting is too late to make financial sense, growers should be incentivised to help invest in the quality of their soils.

"Technically, the land might be fallowed, but it would be far more sensible to encourage actions such as combining organic manure application with catch crop production in a scheme for these unsown fields."

TII also stated that: "Government support is needed for measures that help improve the resilience of our soils against other extreme climate events going forward. Any further loss of crop area could take at least three years to undo."

The organisation explained that the sector has never been more crucial, as shortages of straw, cereals for animal feed, forages and possibly grain for the rapidly growing drinks sector are clear.

TII said: “The time for talking has passed; planning, support and a clear and defined strategy is now required for 2024 and beyond.”