ICSA warn that mounting feed bills could cause cash-flow woes
Mounting feed bills on some farms are pushing farmers to the brink of a major cash-flow crisis, the ICSA has warned.
The drystock farmers association has urged members to talk to their bank managers before the situation gets out of hand.
ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said the worst case scenario would be to dodge the issue until cheques started bouncing.
"Farmers need to be talking to the banks, in order to secure bigger overdrafts to tide them over," he maintained. "They need loans that can be paid back over 12 months."
Feed merchants are by far the biggest creditors on the farm accounts, after a year in which feed volume usage increased by over 25pc and feed prices rose €35/t on average.
Teagasc dairy expert John Donworth said farmers had already spent at least €150 extra per cow and, in some cases, an addtional €300/cow on concentrate feeding alone.
Taken over a 100-cow herd, that amounts to an additional €15,000-€30,000 on the winter feed bill.
Demand for Glanbia's annual seasonal loan scheme through Bank of Ireland, which has an interest rate of 5.7pc, jumped considerably this year, according to the co-op.