Irish Water has agreed to accommodate farmers impacted by reduced water supply from public water sources, in order to ensure they have sufficient water for animals and for other needs on the farm.
“We are dealing with a once in a generation weather event which is posing really difficult challenges for some farmers,” IFA President Joe Healy said.
Over 130,000 farmers and rural households source their water from private wells or group water Schemes and are, therefore, not affected by national restrictions.
However, farmers experiencing water supply shortages due to any restrictions should contact Irish Water which has assured IFA it will make arrangements to ensure adequate supply.
IFA President Joe Healy said the current dry weather is causing real difficulties for farmers who rely on rainfall for grass and crop growth.
“For livestock farmers, soil moisture and high temperatures are impacting on grass growth rates. Farmers are using fodder supplies to feed animals, but the worry now is how quickly growth will resume and whether farmers will be able to save enough silage and hay for the winter ahead, particularly as reserves were well depleted during the extended poor weather conditions earlier this year.”
Joe Healy has urged farmers to take early action to manage the situation and to take note of Teagasc advice for feeding in the drought conditions.
For tillage and vegetable farmers, the weather conditions at this critical period will impact on yields which will compound the income crisis they are already facing. “Crop losses look inevitable with growers facing a situation where winter crops in the ground are stressed, and spring crops planted about eight weeks ago have not had any rain since.
“The continuing trend of low prices on the one side and increasing input prices on the other is placing cereal and vegetable production in this country under threat. All stakeholders will have to sit up and take note of the difficulties farmers are facing and realise that they must work with their growers to sustain them through this difficult period.”
The IFA President said meat factories and retailers must act responsibly at this difficult time and not put undue downward pressure on prices.