Ongoing Weather Problems Hit Farm Incomes by €100M – IFA

IFA President John Bryan said the very poor weather conditions across the country have had a major impact on farm incomes. He said large numbers of stock have been re-housed and feed bills are up significantly, while output is down. “Across all sectors – dairy, beef, tillage and sheep – the impact on farm incomes over the last five weeks has been a hit of €100m due to higher feed costs and a loss of output. Every week where we are not seeing an improvement is adding to the impact on farm incomes. In addition, we estimate that extra feed will have to be bought in next winter to supplement silage, at a cost of over €60m.”

John Bryan said, “The heavy rainfall since the beginning of June, with some parts of the country experiencing four times the average level of rainfall, has caused major difficulties with silage harvesting. Only one-third of the crop has been saved, which is a very unusual situation for farmers at the beginning of July. This delay, and the poor quality of what has been saved, will have very serious implications for next winter, as adequate feed supplies will be critical for the expanding national herd.”

The IFA President encouraged farmers to avail of the clinics set up by Teagasc to advise farmers on how to deal with the problems associated with the bad weather, which he said will have a negative impact on farm incomes. “Bad weather inevitably means higher costs, at a time when inputs are already rising in price.”

Farmers are increasingly frustrated because the weather is hampering essential work on farms and disrupting essential farm improvements. The tillage and horticulture sectors are also under pressure because of the high levels of rainfall and humidity, at what is a crucial stage in crop development.

The IFA President said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must secure an advance of 50% on the Single Farm Payment for the middle of October, and ensure the full payout of Disadvantaged Area payments in September. “The Minister has an opportunity to improve cashflow for farm families, and provide some certainty in meeting credit deadlines.”

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