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MARCH 2018
Tillage Focus
MARCH 2018
Tillage Focus
There has been a significant level of interest in investments by the
tillage sector, with a total number of 775 applications received so
far and 637 approvals. Over 1.38m has now issued in respect of 120
payment claims. Payments will continue on an ongoing basis. This
is the latest of the TAMS schemes to be launched under the Rural
Development Programme 2014-2020. The scheme is co-funded by
the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
These statistics do not include young tillage farmers who can apply
for a higher rate of funding under the Young Farmer schemes.
Food Wise 2025 is an industry blueprint for the sustainable
development of the whole agri-food industry. It is the fourth rolling
10-year report of its kind and gives a clear direction for the future
of the whole of the agri-food sector. Significant progress has been
made in recent years and it is imperative that this progress is built
upon further. The DAFM is
actively monitoring actions in
relation to all sectors, including
the tillage sector.
While not the answer to all
of the challenges facing the
sector, the development of
niche and specialist markets to
improve our competitiveness
and sustainability credentials
are areas that have something
to offer. Examples of initiatives
to improve niche markets
include the recent Malting
Barley Seminar in early
February to promote the use
of heritage Irish-bred barley
varieties as a unique selling
point for individual companies
in the ever expanding craft
brewery and distillery
The demand for Irish malting
barley is growing in line
with the sustained growth
in demand for Irish whiskey.
Recent estimates suggest
180,000 tonnes (t), or 12 per
cent, of Irish barley production
goes for malting, with an
additional 60,000t, or 4 per
cent, of the barley crop going
as unmalted barley for use
in the brewing and distilling
sector. The challenge for the
industry as a whole is to make
the growing and processing
of these premium crops
sustainable for both the farmer
and the processor. This is
always difficult when the final
product is competing with
other products on competitive
international markets.
However, the marketing
opportunity offered by maximising the amount of Irish grain in
what are quintessentially Irish brands must be developed to the
benefit of all involved. The Maize Guide, which was launched
in 2017, is an example of an industry-led initiative and is to be
commended. This shows that many answers to the challenges
facing the tillage sector can be overcome by those working within
the sector. The inclusion of a template contract between a maize
grower and a livestock farmer is something that is long overdue
and brings a more integrated and formal approach that will benefit
both the tillage and livestock sectors.
The Department can confirm that the Protein Aid Scheme will
continue to operate in 2018 but the details of the level of aid had
not been finalised at the time of going to press. Details will be
made available shortly.
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