Ireland is a small nation and within this country tillage is a small sector competing with huge grain-producing countries, whose farmers are working at massive scale.

Conor Condron of Black Silo grain joined the Irish Farmers Journal for the Young Stock Podcast this week. The Offaly man manages risk in commodity markets and wants to see Irish farmers use tools that are available to farmers all over the world to take some risk out of their farming business.

“Some things we can’t control such as the weather, but we can control our grain price to a certain degree,” he said.

“Farmers in the US and other parts of Europe use these tools already and we’re trying to introduce the same tools to Irish farmers and get them familiar with them because it will have a benefit to Irish farmers in the long run.

“Rather than forward selling at a fixed price, sell forward at a minimum price. Black Silo has set up a system where we can support farmers to gain access to these tools that are needed in order to set these price insurance targets.”

Conor emphasised the need for good advice and learning to take opportunities when they present themselves in markets.

He visited Brazil in January to examine soybean crop conditions and saw the corn crop being planted directly after harvest.

“If Brazil has a bumper crop of maize and the maize is cheap, more than likely more of it is going to come into the country and that’s going to affect grain prices here in Ireland. The trade flows are all intertwined and all important to each other,” he said.

  • You can listen to the full podcast on the Irish Farmers Journal website, on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.