Bank of Ireland announces €100 million fodder crisis fund

Bank of Ireland has announced a designated €100 million fund to support farmers who are facing a shortage of fodder and increased feed costs this year.

In conjunction with the fund, the bank has launched a new ‘Agri Flex – Fodder Support Loan’ which the bank says has been specifically developed to respond to the needs of farmers impacted by the challenging weather conditions over the past year.

It provides farmers with extended repayment terms up to three years, a discounted rate of 3.86% and is available up to March 31, 2019.

The new loan is available to farmers seeking finance for additional fodder, feed and fertiliser.

The extended repayment terms will help to ease cash-flow pressures on those farmers used to repaying stocking loans usually within 12 months.

Speaking about the announcement, Sean Farrell, head of agriculture at Bank of Ireland, said: “The weather over the past year has been incredibly challenging for many farmers across Ireland and Bank of Ireland is keenly aware of the difficulties faced by livestock and arable farmers, which is why we have developed this new offering.

“The extended dry summer followed on from a wet, cold and late spring season and this is having a negative knock-on effect, with some sectors and regions affected more than others in terms of cash-flow and income for the year.”

Continuing, Farrell said: “Bank of Ireland is extending its agri finance offerings to ensure we can provide the best possible solution for all farmers.

With winter on the horizon farmers will be carefully preparing and gauging their fodder requirements for the months ahead and balancing this with their finances.

“Our new ‘Agri Flex’ fodder loan has been created to support farmers who need a flexible solution at this time to assist with cash flow through this difficult period.”

The bank’s head of agriculture said that the extended repayment term up to three years, combined with a discounted rate will support farmers in meeting additional costs and ease difficulties around cashflow.

In addition to the fodder support loan, farmers can also apply for interest-only repayment options to support cash-flow on the farm.

“This has been one of the toughest years for farmers in many years and we would like to reassure farmers we are here to help and will be as supportive and flexible as we can.

“We would encourage farmers to come and talk to us via their local businesses manager or call us on: 1890-365222 from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday to Friday,” Farrell concluded.