24 Apr 2013
ONGOING SUPPORT NEEDED FOR FARMERS TO GET THROUGH FODDER CRISISUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan has urged co-ops, merchants and banks to redouble their efforts over the coming days in supporting farmers who have built up significant bills arising from the fodder crisis.
IFA analysis estimates the shortage of fodder is putting an additional cost of over €2m on farmers each day, with a disproportionate cost falling on the more intensive dairy and beef operations.
John Bryan re-iterated IFA’s call on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to secure an advance on the Single Farm Payment and Disadvantaged Area Payments to the earliest date possible.
He said, “The impact of the extra feed bills will be felt for months to come. There must be no let-up in the efforts of everybody in the agri sector to provide assistance to farmers, who will need repayment flexibility for some time to come”.
IFA has requested that the banks assist their farmer customers by offering medium-term loans, which will allow them to spread the repayment of the additional costs they have incurred due to the weather and fodder crisis over a sustainable time period.
He said, “Farmers have faced significantly increased, and unplanned for, costs, and have financed these mainly through short-term financing options, including extending overdrafts, increased stocking loans and other forms of non-bank financing, such as merchant credit”.
IFA Farm Business Chairman Tom Doyle, “I have asked the banks to put in place facilities whereby farmers can convert their short-term borrowings into a medium-term loan. This must be available at a competitive interest rate. Farmers whose underlying business is viable must be given the opportunity to convert both their short-term bank and non-bank borrowing (e.g. merchant credit) in this way.”
IFA has a number of people working with contacts in the UK, assisting in the sourcing of fodder for co-ops to transport over here.