IFA grain committee chair Mark Browne is leading a protest at the Glanbia grain depot in Portlaoise.

The organisation is protesting what it has described as unsustainably low prices.

“We’re holding a protest because the base price that Glanbia revealed is too low and doesn’t represent the market price,” Browne said.

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Price differential

“The price differential between barley and wheat is wrong as well. We need a price that represents a market value.

“We need buyers to give a sustainable price to growers for high-quality native grain.”

Dairygold is paying €355/t for oilseed rape at 9% moisture. While the total barley price is only €2/t ahead of Glanbia's, the big difference is in the base price.

Dairygold is paying a base of €138/t, with a €5/t top-up, which is €10/t clear of the Glanbia base.

Glanbia response

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In response to the protest, a Glanbia spokesperson said Glanbia Ireland is providing farmers with highly competitive pricing and sales options for their grain harvest, which are unmatched in the industry.

"Glanbia Ireland’s recently announced member base price is €141/t for green barley, including €3/t co-op support and a potential €10/t trading bonus.

"However, given that 35% to 40% of the Glanbia harvest crop was purchased through premium contract arrangements with farmers, the average actual payment to farmers per tonne for barley is €166/t across all contracts.

"As the largest buyer and user of native Irish grains, Glanbia Ireland’s intake of native Irish grain this harvest was over 200,000t, 40% ahead of last year and well ahead of the 24% growth in the national harvest."

Extension

The spokesperson said that to support farmers, Glanbia Ireland has extended the closing date to 18 October for the farmers own stock scheme in order to facilitate additional growers that may wish to participate.

"This scheme allows tillage farmers to deliver their grain to Glanbia Ireland, but retain ownership and sell the stock over the next three months at the prevailing market price for dried grain.

"In light of the current weak grain market conditions, Glanbia Ireland has agreed to amend the terms of the scheme such that growers that have not cleared their trading accounts will be allowed to enter the scheme (subject to terms and conditions).

"It will also forego interest on the relevant accounts in the period from entry to the scheme until 18 December. Furthermore, Glanbia Ireland also regularly offers growers the opportunity to forward sell their crops through the season."

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