Updated: 24/06/12 : 16:26:04
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Delayed silage harvest means increased costs for farmers

IFA President John Bryan has warned that the deplorable weather conditions in recent weeks are causing major problems for farmers, with two-thirds of the silage crop still to be harvested. He said farmers were becoming increasingly concerned as the wet weather is set to continue for the week ahead.

John Bryan said, “Some parts of the country have had levels of rainfall in the last month that were more than double the norm for this time of year. This is posing huge difficulties on farm, with stock re-housed, increases in feed costs, production levels back, and critically, most of next winter’s feed still not in.  We would expect to have 80% of silage harvested by the end of June, but farmers are reporting significant delays because of the prolonged, broken spell of weather. The quality of what will be saved will suffer and this will mean extra feeding costs next winter.”

John Bryan said the adverse conditions will have a negative impact on farm incomes, following some recovery in 2010 and 2011. “Bad weather inevitably means higher costs, at a time when inputs are already rising in price.”

The IFA President said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must give a firm commitment that he will secure an advance of 50% on the Single Farm Payment for the middle of October, and ensure the full payout of Disadvantaged Area payments in September. “The Minister has an opportunity to improve cashflow for farm families, and provide some certainty in meeting credit deadlines.”