Farmers urged to review finances ahead of loan moratorium deadline

Farmers under financial pressure due to Covid-19 should conduct a financial review in the coming week to access their circumstances for the second half of 2020 and determine if they need to engage with their financial institution, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

Commenting on the matter, ICMSA farm business chairperson Shane O’Loughlin noted that the deadline for applying for a moratorium on business and personal loans is set at Tuesday, June 30.

“While the ICMSA would like that date extended, farmers should now prepare on the basis that this date will not change,” O’Loughlin said.

Cash-flow issues that might arise from the lower milk price due to Covid-19 paid in March and April may only impact later in the summer when bills become due and farmers then find themselves under financial pressure.

In addition, the ICMSA chairman highlighted that there is the very real danger of a drought in many parts of the country that will seriously impact farmers bottom line.

As a result, he noted, ICMSA believes that farmers should assess their financial position and, if necessary, contact their financial institution in the next week with an outline of their financial predictions and take a loan moratorium if they think they will get into trouble in the coming months.

“It is important to have that option available to you and it would be unfortunate if a farmers did not apply for the moratorium and then realise in late July or August that they are going to run deficits due to increased feed or fodder purchases and at that stage, they will not be able to get the moratorium,” he added.

This year has been a stressful time on farms with losses in revenues due to Covid-19 and drought problems – it would be prudent to make sure that repayments and financial stability is not another factor to add to this category.

As a result, farmers should consider very carefully in the next week if they need to apply for the moratorium which must be approved by June 30, O’Loughlin concluded.

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