IFA Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh has questioned the disparity between the price tillage farmers are receiving, and the animal feed prices charged by feed suppliers to drystock, dairy, pig and poultry farmers.
Grain farmers are facing a massive drop in income, with many facing significant losses for this year’s harvest.
While weather and higher inputs have played a part, they have also taken a cut of about a third in the price paid by merchants for their grain.
However, the latest CSO figures for animal compound feed shows the price increased by 1 per cent over the last 12 months to June 2023. Somebody is profiting from the gap between the grain price and the animal feed price.
CSO data shows that in the 12-month period to June 2023 compound feed prices increased by 1 per cent. In the same period for example, fertiliser prices declined by 43 per cent. However, it should be noted the drop in fertiliser price came after cereal farmers had purchased almost all of their fertiliser for the 2023 cereal crop at vastly inflated prices.
Rose Mary McDonagh said, “in a year where both tillage and livestock farmers are suffering from ongoing inflated input prices, combined with significantly reduced output prices, we cannot have a situation where some within the feed supply chain are profiteering”.
“Those buying grain from tillage farmers and those supplying feedstuffs to livestock farmers need to act fairly. Tillage farmers must get a fair price for their grain while livestock farmers must be charged a fair price for their feedstuff. Based on our analysis of the latest data, serious questions have to be asked,” concluded the IFA Farm Business Chair.