Bobby Miller - Chairman of Irish Grain Growers Group (IGG) – believes that farmers should be selling 4x4 bales of winter barley for €20 this season.
He said that depending on your relationship to the farmer, somewhere between €15-€18/bale is more than likely what will be achieved.
“Because straw is multi-use, that can be used for bedding and as feeding material, €20 should be the norm in my opinion,” he told That's Farming.
'Low-balled with prices'
He explained that there are extra bales to the acre this year for winter barley crops and there’s plenty of straw at present as contractors and farmers are finishing up with the barley harvest.
“The quality of straw is excellent – there was good golden straw for the most part that was baled in good conditions, so it has everything going for it,” said Bobby.
He has been hearing lower figures for straw, but he insists that farmers will not stand for it. “Lads are prepared to turn on the chopper on the back of the combine at the moment,” said Bobby.
"If they’re going to be low-balled with prices, the farmers are going to react. They will get rewarded next year for chopping their straw into the ground. They will have no problem doing it."
Production conditions for cereal crops in 2019 have been considerably better than in 2018 and yields should show a significant increase on the 2018 level. However, input price inflation and a forecast reduction in 2019 harvest prices of 30% relative to 2018, will lead to a drop in cereal margins in 2019, despite the increase in yields, according to the mid-year Teagasc report.
Bobby maintains that grain price is key, “fertiliser prices rose significantly last year, adding to the cost of growth and seed prices rose as well – with the grain prices back nearly 30%, nobody knows what the stock exchange is going to, after all, grain is a world commodity”.
The IGG chairman predicts that there might be a small price rise in the market after September "but we really don’t know".
"The North American harvest had very late crops this year and he said that this will be the biggest influence on the market. “We have been at the mercy of the global market for years” said Bobby.
“The bigger winners last year were the farmers who had winter crops last year, the losers were the spring crops. Winter barley crops will be worse off this year, there’s no question,” he concluded.