Exclusion of crop losses from Flood Relief Scheme ‘unacceptable’

The IFA is calling on the Minster for Agriculture and his Department to include crop losses under a new scheme to support farmers following this winter’s terrible weather.

IFA Flood Project Chairman, Tom Turley said that the Emergency Flood Damage Relief Measure must be extended to include those farmers who have suffered crop losses as a result of the recent flooding.

He said, the exclusion to date of crops is unacceptable as the financial losses arising from crop damage are very significant in many cases. Included in the crop losses are vegetables, maize crops, fodder beet.

Tom Turley has called for the early payment of all 377 farmers who have applied for the fodder scheme and for the 130 applicants who have applied to the Emergency Flood Damage Measure.

The eligibility checks of these applicants must be concluded without further delay as farmers have to buy alternative feed for their animals.

Teagasc has said that winter crops had a fantastic start last autumn, but a series of winter storms have caused significant losses.

It says an estimated 500ha has been lost from salt burn along the south coast while many fields have bare patches as a result of water-logging and reduced plant counts compared to 2015.

Over 130 applications have been received by the Department under the Emergency Flood Damage Relief Measure.

There are claims under each of the three categories provided for:

  • Direct costs arising where livestock was lost to the floods.
  • Rental costs incurred where livestock had to be moved off farms and into alternative premises due to potential welfare issues.
  • Flood damage to agricultural structures and fittings.

The Department confirmed that at present, eligibility checks are being carried out on applications and they are being processed for on-farm verification as appropriate.

Work is ongoing in the Department to ensure the timely processing of payments.

Regarding the payments, the Department has said that it is not possible to estimate how much money will be spent as most applications describe what is being claimed for but are not required to include an estimate on the cost.

The cost will be determined when the eligibility checks and the on-farm verification procedure have been completed, it said.