Farm Incomes

Top-up on March Milk Needed Given Weather Conditions

At today’s National Fodder and Food Security Committee meeting, IFA President Francie Gorman said every effort must be made to support farmers who are grappling with dreadful weather conditions.

“Processors have to return every cent from the market to dairy and livestock farmers, who have been unable to get out to grass this Spring. Banks and credit unions should be offering maximum flexibility to farmers who are tight on cashflow. In particular, we need to make sure livestock farmers have access to short-term credit. We also want the Department of Agriculture to fast-track any payments to farmers,” he said.

He called on all milk processors to pay a hardship top up of at least 3 cent per litre on all March milk.

“Dairy farmers are having a dreadful time with the desperate weather conditions.  While falling stocks of fodder, full slurry tanks and the huge additional workload are serious issues, what farmers really need now is a boost to cashflow,” he said.

“Now is the time for our co-ops and processors to step up and make a top up payment on March milk,” he said.

“Processors will not be paying for milk supplied in March until mid to late April. They are fully aware of the dire situation their members and suppliers are in before they set the March milk price. They must support them with a much-needed cashflow injection,” he said.

At today’s meeting, IFA also proposed that all farm inspections are suspended and called on suppliers to reduce feed prices. IFA also reiterated the urgent requirement for the Minister to introduce a Tillage Survival Scheme to support the beleaguered tillage sector.

“Last night, we held four online regional meetings chaired by our four regional chairs and joined by our county officers in the region. It is clear that farmers are under huge pressure. It is important that farmers check in on their neighbours this weekend. Farmers should not be afraid to ask for help,” he said.

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