AIB urges farming customers in need of support to get in touch

AIB has urged its farming customers to assess their own situation and to get in contact early if they require support, as a result of the challenging weather conditions experienced in recent weeks.

The “difficult and late spring” along with “the current persisting weather conditions” have meant that farmers have been faced with additional costs and increased workloads, according to AIB.

Many farms have been forced to start feeding silage to livestock now given the poor grass growth levels, which is going to impact on already low winter fodder reserves, it added.

Farmers are being encouraged to take action now to try to quantify the effect of higher costs on their individual farm situation and determine their cash-flow requirements for the weeks and months ahead.

Commenting on the situation, Tadhg Buckley – the head of AIB’s Agri Sector Team – said: “2018 has been an exceptional year from a weather perspective, which has resulted in higher costs on all livestock and arable farm systems.

“What is unique about this year is that all farms have been affected – farmers on heavier land more so in the spring and farmers on drier type soils more so in recent weeks.”

Challenges

The limited grass growth – which was already back by over 1.2t/ha at the beginning of July on the previous year – is resulting in many farmers feeding higher levels of concentrates, silage and other supplements, AIB explained.

On the output side, poorer grass quality is also affecting animal thrive and milk output, it added.

While the harvest is starting to commence in some parts of the country, the financial institution stated that “crops on lighter soils are likely to be suffering and yields of later sown spring crops are likely to be back”.

Farmers have also had to deal with water supply issues given the drought conditions being experienced at the moment.

‘Case-by-case basis’

Given that the current weather conditions look set to continue for a further period, Buckley stated that it will be some time before normal grass growth resumes even when it does rain.

Continuing, he said: “We are encouraging our farming customers to determine how the additional costs are likely to affect their individual farm systems, be that: poorer yields/output; reduced thrive; and/or higher feed costs.

“For farmers who need additional cash flow support, our Farmer Credit Line product may be an appropriate solution and we are encouraging our customers who may need support to contact us early.

We will work with farmers on a case-by-case basis to find the most appropriate and cost-effective solution for their farm.

“Our latest edition of Agri Matters is now available in branch and online and it contains two practical articles on rebuilding fodder and cash reserves which may be of interest,” he said.

AIB has a range of options to support its farming customers, which are subject to normal lending conditions, including:
  • 48 hour decision on business loans and overdrafts up to €60,000 for AIB customers;
  • AIB Farmer Credit Line;
  • Extended contact hours for farmers via a dedicated phone line: 1890-47-88-33 – which is available Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 9:00pm, as well as Saturdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm.

Customers can speak with AIB’s team of relationship managers by visiting one of its branches or by calling: 1890-47-88-33. Alternatively, customers can also get in contact online.