Against the grain: how crop prices are gaming the property market

Global commodity markets are in the midst of the heaviest bull run since 2013, and it’s not only affecting the agricultural sector: key players in the Irish construction industry are warning that new homes may soon be outside the reach of average first-time buyers

James O’Reilly with his rapeseed crop near Gowran in Co Kilkenny: ‘There’s a good outlook for rapeseed prices this year and even into next year’Pic: Dylan Vaughan

In the dairy heartland of Ballyragget in Co Kilkenny, James O’Reilly is something of an outlier – a tillage farmer. Working in a part of Ireland synonymous with permanent grasslands and dairy cows, he is committed to tillage, growing a variety of staple crops such as barley, wheat, oats and rapeseed.

While his neighbouring dairy farmers will depend on Glanbia to deliver them a decent milk price this year, it is to Chicago, Paris and ...