Tillage farmers face a hike in seed prices in 2023, moving in line with grain prices at harvest. According to industry reports, prices for spring cereal seed are expected to come in either side of €800/t, which is up about €155/t or approximately €13/ac on 2022.

As winter cereal area is down in most parts of the country for the 2023 season, more spring cereal seed will be required.

“The Irish Seed Trade estimates there is ample seed supplies [of native seed] potentially out there for spring seed this year,” Brendan Reilly, president of the Irish Seed Trade Association, told the Irish Farmers Journal’s Tillage Podcast.

“We’re coming off the back of high yields from the harvest of 2022, so if all that seed is assembled, passed and certified, and meets the standard, there should be enough.

“There is also enough [native] bean seed out there, if the acreage increases.”

Reilly noted that the seed trade increased levels of bean seed multiplication in recent years to ensure a native certified seed supply for the crop. Importation of the invasive weed blackgrass was a risk with UK and EU imports previously.

Price increase

On price increases, he noted: “Seed is probably one of the cheapest inputs you’ll put in and it provides an excellent return on investment. Yes, seed prices are up, but the market finds its own level and the industry has incurred a significant increase in costs.

“Farmers didn’t really see that last year. Seed was already in the supply chain, whereas now we’re coming off the 2022 harvest.”

Reilly noted that energy, transport, labour and insurance costs have also risen and are feeding into that price increase.