IFA Presidential Candidate Francie Gorman says a “once in a generation disaster year” for tillage farmers must be responded to with a comprehensive aid package to avoid farmers exiting the business.
The County Laois farmer says successive months of poor weather has created havoc for tillage farmers across Ireland and, in some cases, farmers have lost their entire crop.
“Many of the tillage farmers I have met have not witnessed a worse year than this in their lives,” Mr. Gorman commented. “Rainfalls totals in the past week alone have been two to three times above average which follows what was the wettest July on record in Ireland.”
He continued, “35-acres of barley belonging to a neighbouring farmer is almost completely lost due to the bad weather, which combined with excessive input costs brought to bear by the war in Ukraine, high land rents and declining CAP payments, is making that farmer’s business unsustainable. It is impossible for farmers, who produce a premium product without getting a premium price in return, to carry this on their own backs.”
Mr. Gorman raised the need for an immediate review of this year’s harvest by Teagasc with Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe and Tánaiste Micheál Martin at last week’s Ploughing Championships and is now calling for the Government to secure an immediate aid package that will support affected tillage farmers.
He added, “There needs to be a complete review of the tillage sector to ensure we secure a future for farmers as well as a greater awareness at government and EU level of the knock-on consequences for all sectors when formulating agricultural policy.”
“Tillage farmers who grew crops this year will exit the business unless there is an exceptional aid package put in place. Any such scheme to support the sector needs to be tailored in a way that the benefits go directly to tillage farmers,” concluded Mr. Gorman.