IFA National Chair of Rural Development Committee Michael Biggins has called on the Department to show understanding and maximum flexibility where farmers, because of the challenging weather conditions, are unable to meet ACRES commitments.
“We are getting calls from farmers around the country, who because of late sowing and challenging weather conditions, have yet to harvest cereal crops and will very likely miss ACRES deadlines as a result,” Michael Biggins said.
“In fairness to the Dept, they extended the original deadlines two weeks for the growing of catch crops, but things haven’t improved much since, as we seen at the ploughing last week, and with Storm Agnes on its way tomorrow, ground conditions will get worse before they get better,” he added.
“The challenges for those farmers in ACRES should not be compounded by penalties, and partial or no ACRES payment received for non-compliance. It’s outside the farmers control and the Department need to show understanding and flexibility here,” he said.