Majority of farmers 'seriously concerned' about their finances
Published 30/09/2015 | 02:30
Half of farmers are seriously concerned about their financial situation, as the impact of a turbulent year for milk and grain prices takes its toll.
A Farming Independent survey of farmers at last week's Ploughing found that more than 25pc have higher debt levels this year, while 55pc don't expect to make a standalone profit this year.
Just under half of dairy farmers expect to make a profit this year compared to three-quarters in a similar survey last year.
However, dairying still remains the most profitable farming sector as just a third of tillage and suckler farmers expect to make a profit this year once EU payments are excluded.
The farmers surveyed also had strong views on whether or not the pay and expenses of leaders and officers in farm organisations such as the IFA, ICMSA and ICSA should be made public.
Over 86pc want transparency on salaries and expenses - 11pc answered 'no', while a small number were undecided.
Meanwhile, the concerns of farmers over export markets for Irish agricultural produce were raised by farm bodies with Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.