IFA President John Bryan has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to secure a 70% advance on the Single Farm Payment from October 16th this year, in response to the deteriorating weather and the income difficulties on farms. “The situation is worsening every day the bad weather continues, and the losses incurred in recent weeks cannot be retrieved at this stage.”
John Bryan said today’s Farm Council meeting in Brussels will present Minister Coveney with the opportunity to get agreement from Commissioner Ciolos on this critically-important issue for Irish farmers. “An advance payment of 70% would help ease cashflow problems on farms, which have arisen because of significantly higher costs and lower prices.”
The IFA President said a 70% advance payment was agreed in 2009 when incomes were badly hit by poor prices. He said bills are building up on farms because of the higher costs arising from the prolonged spell of wet weather.
He said, “While some harvesting has been done, ground conditions have prevented many farmers from getting their silage in. Milk production and prices are back and the factories are using the bad weather to pull cattle prices.”
“The mart trade has also been impacted, mainly because of a lack of grass supply. Farmers have been forced to take cattle indoors, particularly bulls, and the cost of feeding has increased fivefold. Crop development is a critical stage for the main crops of winter wheat and spring barley. Grain farmers expect yields to drop, and unless we see a dramatic improvement in the coming weeks, the impact could be greater.”
Meanwhile, the IFA President has, on behalf of all farm families, extended his sympathies to the family of the 12-year old boy in Donegal who died in a farm accident on Saturday. “The bad weather is putting increased pressure on farmers trying to get work done and conditions are making it more dangerous on farms. The President appealed to all farm families to keep farm safety top of their priorities.”