Healy calls on Government to assist farmers hit by weather losses

The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has to urgently address the difficulties caused by persistent poor weather conditions in parts of the country, IFA President Joe Healy has said.

Following visits to farms in the West and North West, the IFA leader said the Government needs to take urgent action, particularly for tillage farmers who have suffered crop losses or farmers who were unable to conserve sufficient fodder for winter feed.

To address these issues, Healy has called on the Government to introduce a package of measures for the farmers affected.

The IFA has also asked Teagasc to make assessments of farmers with a significant fodder deficit and tillage farmers with substantial weather-related crop losses.

The five-point plan entails:
  • Crisis aid for tillage farmers who have suffered serious crop losses
  • Fodder Scheme for farmers unable to save enough hay or silage
  • Easing of qualifying criteria for Farm Assist
  • Flexibility on slurry spreading
  • Prompt payment under all farm schemes, with no delays and no excuses

Healy also reiterated his call on the Department to ensure that all direct payments must be made on time and within the deadlines set down in the Charter of rights.

And, he warned that farmers will not tolerate any hold-ups in pay-out of more that €1.6 billion across all the schemes  this year.

The harsh reality on almost all farms this year is that the direct payment is the only net income coming into the family household from farming.

The IFA leader also said that it is critically important that all farmers receive the 70% advance of their Basic Payment on October 17, as there are severe cashflow stresses on many farms.

Along with prompt payments, the IFA is also looking for a relaxation of regulations on slurry spreading that will allow farmer the maximum flexibility to get work done when ground conditions allow.