A combination of higher grain and straw prices and lower costs increased the average profitability of winter wheat and spring barley crops by over 50% in 2018 compared with 2017, a new report from Teagasc states.
Results from a small number of farms suggest both winter wheat and spring barley yields decreased by an average of 22%.
"We must be careful when looking at the 2018 figures as the results will be very different depending on where a farmer was located in 2018.
"We know farms with a mix of winter and spring crops in the northeast returned reasonable yields and fared far better than farmers dependent on spring crops in the southeast,” Michael Hennessy, head of crops knowledge transfer at Teagasc, said.
We must be careful when looking at the 2018 figures as the results will be very different depending on where a farmer was located in 2018
“Farmers will continue to collate their figures in the coming months and we will have a clearer picture of the situation towards the middle of 2019.”
The 2017 e-Profit Monitor (ePM) results cover some 340 farms with over 25,000 ha.
The overall trend in 2017 is a marked increase in income compared with 2016.
The e-Profit Monitor average net margin for tillage farmers analysed was €343/ha, which compares to €106/ha in 2016.
It is expected that this trend may continue in 2018 as growers with a mix of crops returned higher yields and output than those with spring cereals only.
In 2017, the top one-third of growers achieved an income of €486/ha compared with the bottom third who achieved only €53/ha.
The bottom-performing group incurred over 50% more fixed costs (depreciation, interest, light, heat, etc) compared with the top group.
The bottom-performing group had a much higher proportion of land rented at 62% of the entire area compared with 26% of the area by the top-performing group.
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