IFA Inputs Project Team Leader John Coughlan said compound feed prices are “out of line” with ingredient costs.
He called on the industry to reduce ration prices immediately given the perilous state of the beef finishing sector.
John Coughlan said, “Many compound feed mills are not reflecting the significant reduction in cereal prices, which unfortunately for tillage farmers are back by as much as €50/t.”
“The failure by the mills to pass through the significant reduction in cereal costs is indicative of a major swing by compound feed manufacturers, over recent years, away from the use of native cereals to imported maize and by-products.”
“Such a move is potentially undermining the provenance of Irish food production at a time when there is an increased focus on the carbon footprint.” he added.
Maximise native cereals
Coughlan believes the feed sector has a duty to maximise native cereals.
“It has been shown time after time that livestock rations that include a high level of quality native Irish cereals consistently outperform many compound feed rations based on least cost formulations, which invariably use high levels of imported by-products.”
Irish cereal production, he stressed, not only has an extremely low carbon footprint, but also enhances biodiversity when compared to imported feed ingredients.