Obviously the non publication of the land use policy strategy means that it’s politically sensitive.

The €40/acre or €30m emergency support announced for tillage farmers by the minister at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis can be classed as a political stunt and a sticking plaster, however, it is an acknowledgement of the challenge and will bring some solidarity and comfort to tillage farmers.

However, the rise in the price of rented land in parts of the country means €40/acre is like a drop in the ocean.

We really need a land use document to see where tillage fits alongside all the other land demands.

Work together

I feel there is a real acknowledgement now between livestock and tillage farmers that both need to work together to make it work for everyone.

As tillage farmers get back into fields this week what do they do? There is so much work they must prioritise and plan carefully.

Livestock farmers need to replenish feed stocks, especially in the southeast. Tillage farmers can still help here and make it a win-win for both. The tillage farmer needs commitment for high cost crops that the livestock farmer won’t walk away from a deal when the summer arrives.

The move by Tirlán to share the cost of inputs between the livestock farmer and the tillage farmer means a shared cost commitment that should tie both parties in.

For the tillage farmer that’s better than a crop that nobody wants. Good to see something new in this space of farmer-to-farmer collaboration, with the co-op in between to keep everyone honest.