Offaly growers face significant losses as weather decimates yields

IFA National Grain Committee Noel Delany said that many growers face significant financial losses this year as weather took a huge toll on crop yields. “It has been one of the most challenging harvests on record as yields for the majority of tillage crops have come in significantly below the 5-year average and farmers had to contend with substantially increased fuel and fertiliser costs.”

IFA National Grain Committee Noel Delany said that many growers face significant financial losses this year as weather took a huge toll on crop yields. “It has been one of the most challenging harvests on record as yields for the majority of tillage crops have come in significantly below the 5-year average and farmers had to contend with substantially increased fuel and fertiliser costs.”

Noel Delany said the combination of dreadful weather and high costs has left many specialist tillage growers facing a tough financial situation. “The difficult circumstances highlight the importance of the Single Farm Payment in providing an income for these farm families as they cope with adverse conditions. IFA’s Day of Action on October 9th will demonstrate the need for a positive CAP Budget from 2014 for the tillage sector.”

He urged the merchants and co-ops to facilitate the roll-over of credit/supply contracts where growers have difficulties because of the exceptionally bad weather. “We also need to see a reduction in penalties without compromising overall product quality.”

Noel Delany said while weather turned to allow growers to gather in the harvest, production was well back on last season, with wheat crops taking the biggest hit. Winter wheat yields are back on average by 1.2t/acre or almost 30%, and in some extreme cases up to 50%.

“Crops in the south and southeast in particular were extremely badly affected with many winter wheat crops struggling to achieve 2t/ac compared to 4 tonnes plus last harvest. Both winter and spring barley fared better. However, spring barley yields are back by on average 0.5t/acre.”

He concluded, “Unfortunately some growers may face significant financial exposure as the extremely low yields have failed to cover out grain forward sold on contract. It is vital that the trade works with these growers so that they can pull through what has been one of the wettest years in living memory.”