Weather Impact to Hit Farming Hard this Winter – IFA

Speaking from the Ploughing Championships in Wexford today (Tues), IFA President John Bryan said the full impact of the wettest summer on record and spiralling feed costs will add €400m to bills on farms this winter. “The price/cost squeeze will inevitably have a very negative effect on farm incomes this year, and farmers will need a major national effort to assist them recover and get back on track.”


A detailed survey by Teagasc shows half of farmers are short 20% of their winter feed requirements and this, coupled with significantly poorer silage and escalating feed costs, will lead to a major cashflow crisis on farms.   This will mean additional costs in excess of €250m for farmers this winter. This comes on top of price hikes for feed that will add €150m to the cost of keeping livestock through the end of this year and early 2013.


The IFA President said the Government can provide some certainty to farmers by ensuring all farm schemes are maintained in the forthcoming Budget, and all payments are made on time and in full. “In particular, I am expecting Minister Coveney to deliver a meaningful AEOS scheme to assist those low-income farmers worst affected by the closure of REPS and weather conditions this year.”


John Bryan said he is meeting the chief executives of all the banks to highlight the grave situation facing many farmers, and to seek their full support to provide the extra cashflow that will be needed on farms in the coming months. “My advice to farmers is to seek an early meeting with your bank manager and get a cashflow plan in place to help get you over the winter. Early communication with customers under pressure is essential to alleviate problems that could build up. Farmers should also seek advice and help from the Teagasc advisory service.”


The IFA President is encouraging neighbours to keep in touch with each other and help out in the coming months. IFA has established project teams in every county to assist those farmers worst impacted by the current situation.


“There is intense pressure on sectors such as liquid milk, beef finishing, pigs, poultry as the price of feed soars. They are facing into a winter where the full brunt of escalating costs and disastrous weather will hit home.  As the dominant player in the food supply chain, the responsibility is on the supermarkets to recognise the difficulties higher costs are imposing on farmers and act now to ensure that costs of production are covered and a margin for the farmer to live on.”

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