Allan Chambers, chairman of the Ulster Farmers’ Union cereals committee, is encouraging livestock farmers to support their local cereal growers this harvest.
“As soon as weather permits, harvesting will be getting into full swing across Northern Ireland and every effort should be made to capitalise on the opportunity to do business locally with your neighbouring cereal farmer,” said Mr Chambers.
He said this concept of farmers helping other farmers made economic and market success, at a time when the entire agricultural industry is under enormous financial pressure. “Local grain traded between farmers offers good value for money. It cuts out unnecessary haulage costs and often makes a higher quality ration than some imported by products,” he said, adding that it also boosted livestock farmers’ local sourcing credentials and quality assurance with retailers.
Mr Chambers said the UFU cereal competitions are currently being judged and that once again the results underlined the professionalism, skill and knowledge that exists within the sector.
“As cereal growers we face many challenges outside our control. The weak euro, the recent variable weather conditions and a very unpredictable global grain market are certainly evidence of that this year – but what we can guarantee is quality, local supplies to our neighbouring livestock farmers,” he said.
Mr Chambers said the message from Northern Ireland’s cereal growers is that they are now ‘open for business’ and are keen to develop all available markets for their grain and straw.