Tractor in Grain Field

Tirlán FarmLife aims to extend the acreage sown to gluten-free oat crops

13 October 2022
General News

Tirlán FarmLife aims to significantly extend the acreage sown to gluten-free oat crops for 2023.

Gluten-free oats is a premium grain and delivers strong opportunities for farmers, Donal Moloney, Tirlán FarmLife’s Grain Manager, said.

Gluten-free oats delivers a premium of €30 per tonne over the feed wheat price, with all harvesting and transport, potentially worth an additional €30/t, carried out by Tirlán FarmLife using dedicated gluten-free machinery.

“Economic returns compare very favourably with high value crops like winter wheat and malting barley. Oat crops also carry lower production costs, particularly fertiliser requirements, which would be a key consideration for 2023,” said Donal Moloney.

“The crop requires extremely strict specifications to deliver food-grade gluten-free produce. Therefore, seed must be purchased from Tirlán FarmLife and all agronomic advice must be provided by a Tirlán FarmLife agronomist.

“The move comes in the wake of strong demand from customers. Acreage increased in 2022 and will increase over the next number of years. It is a sign of our ability to secure new contracts and our offerings to customers and the work of our sales development teams. It’s all part of a longer-term strategy to grow gluten-free,” he added.

Tirlán FarmLife is looking to extend the land base sown across Kildare, Laois, Carlow and into Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Meath and Dublin by as much as 1,000 acres and where farms meet certain criteria, Tirlán FarmLife’s Grain Quality Operations Manager Mariea O’Toole explained.

“We are looking for farmers with suitable rotations on their land to suit gluten-free oats. There are specific requirements that a potential grower’s land has to meet before it would be considered suitable to sow this crop. Gluten-free oats must be grown after a non-cereal break crop, for example, maize, grass, oil seed rape, beet or vegetables.

“There are also other factors that have to be taken into account, such as farm size and field access, as dedicated gluten-free machinery would have to be brought to the area for harvest,” she said.