Banks need to work with our farmers
The extent of the credit squeeze and increased debt is becoming a very serious consideration at farm level.
The credit crunch is having an impact right across the various sectors, with banks tightening up lending criterias and merchants refusing to give credit where debts were not cleared last season.
Following the longest and most severe winter in decades and sustained loss-making in milk, beef, pig and grain farms, IFA president John Bryan said the income and cashflow crisis on tens of thousands of farms was at breaking point.
This week the IFA president called on beef, dairy and pig processors to immediately secure increases across all commodity prices to help alleviate the crisis.
Whether this call is heeded or falls on deaf ears has yet to be seen. However, the impact of the crisis must not be underestimated.
Input costs will certainly have to be cut dramatically. The reduced demand for seed this year is already having an impact in this area, with deals reportedly being done for as as low as €365-380/t.
The IFA president again called on the banks to support farm families by extending credit to get them through this critical period.
Given the extent of the support being offered to the financial institutions by taxpayers, this is not an unreasonable request.