Machinery sales drop sharply amid price crisis
Rural economy feels the pain as farmers suffer difficult year following milk and grain slump
Machinery sales have fallen sharply as the milk and grain price crisis grows, with farmers now facing major cash flow problems.
Pressure is mounting from farm bodies for action by the newly formed Government with the ICMSA warning the depressed milk price is resulting in a "haemorrhage" of money out of rural districts.
Retailers have warned of a "difficult" year, with machinery sellers feeling the pain with sales of balers, mowers, ploughs and sprayers all taking a hit.
It also comes as farmers call for action over pay at some of the country's processors and co-ops, with shareholders at the Arrabawn Co-op AGM the latest to demand "cuts across the board".
Milk suppliers at the Tipperary meeting called for a "sharing of the pain" from falling incomes for management, board members and staff as many reported being "shocked" after seeing their poor March milk cheques.
It also follows intense scrutiny of pay at many of the major agri businesses, including Ornua and Dairygold, as the packages of board members also came under the spotlight at the recent Glanbia AGM.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said he was very aware of farmers' worries about the future.
"Objectively, we know from a host of indicators that there is economic recovery. But I also appreciate that many farmers believe it has yet to come to their farm gate. It is our job to address that and spread the benefits of recovery all across the country," he said.