Farmers need support as bad weather conditions persist – IFA

IFA Deputy President Alice Doyle has said the ongoing weather conditions are placing farmers under serious pressure and adding to stress levels for families.

“The level of rainfall has made it impossible to move livestock; planting and sowing is way behind; and bills are mounting as farmers struggle to keep on top of their work”.

St Patrick’s Day is seen as a turning point in the farming calendar, but ground is saturated due to wet conditions that stretch back to the middle of last year. Alice Doyle has appealed to everybody in the sector who interacts with farmers to take this into account and to give whatever support they can.

“For the Department of Agriculture, it could mean stepping down inspections for the moment and also redoubling their efforts to ensure the timely payment of funds from farm schemes,” she said. “Any change to terms and conditions that allows maximum flexibility should also be considered”.

The IFA Deputy President said processors and banks also have a role to play: “Every cent that’s in the marketplace has to make its way back to farmers. Banks should apply leniency for anybody who’s battling to meet repayments”.

IFA Farm Family and Social Affairs chair Teresa Roche is asking farmers to support their neighbours and offer help if it’s needed.

“Most farmers operate as sole traders and the persistent weather conditions may overwhelm them. I would encourage anybody who is feeling isolated to seek support,” she said.