IFA PRESIDENT Joe Healy has said urgent actions are needed to help farmers in the current drought situation.
‘The current situation is unprecedented and is causing huge financial pressures on farms and huge stress for farmers,’ he said.
Despite recent rain in the south, the accumulations will not be enough to ease the pressure on farmers.
‘What we now need is real leadership from the Minister and our Government to assist farmers at this extraordinarily difficult time,’ said Mr Healy.
The IFA wants the leadership to take the form of:
1. Delivering on low cost loans as committed in last year’s Budget.
2. The Minister must convene urgent meetings with meat factories and retailers to stop exploiting the drought conditions, stabilise market prices and restore confidence.
3. Flexibility on GLAS and nitrates to allow farmers maximise the conservation of fodder between now and the end of the year.
4. Advance BPS payments of 70% in mid-October, 85% of GLAS payments in November and full ANC payments in early September.
5. Incentives for tillage farmers to grow fodder crops on harvested lands.
6. The reactivation of the fodder importation scheme which was available earlier this year.
7. Strong financial support for farmers in the upcoming Budget.
The IFA President said that the Minister must show empathy with farmers at this most difficult time. The drought is having a severe impact on farm income and farmers expect action from government, Mr Healy added.