Saturday 1 October 2016

Sales reps pounce to collect payments

Published 11/11/2015 | 02:30

Willie Hegarty, Charleville and Mike O'Dononghue, Limerick, at the Gap of Dunloe Annual Horse Fair .Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan
Willie Hegarty, Charleville and Mike O'Dononghue, Limerick, at the Gap of Dunloe Annual Horse Fair .Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Bill collectors have been landing in farmers' yards to take their slice of the payments from Brussels amid concerns over a credit crunch next spring.

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The move comes as farmers also face tax bills, with newly expanded dairy farmers in particular facing high payouts following a buoyant 2014 and some also budgeting for superlevy payments.

Agricultural consultants have warned farmers to plan for the months ahead and fix up their finance options now.

One farmer told the Farming Independent: "Three salesmen came in looking for money in the space of three days.

"One man from a feed merchant told me that they know the payments are in and they'd been told to come looking for the money as they were worried it wouldn't be there next spring."

ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said as soon as the basic payments hit farmers' bank accounts there are sales reps seeking to gather payment.

"Obviously there are long queues of people who are owed money," said Mr Punch, highlighting the difficulties that farmers can face in accessing credit facilities.

"It probably reflects the fact that farmers are under capitalised in terms of cash flow.

"They are using merchants, millers and silage contractors as banking facilities when they should be getting those credit facilities from the banks."

The IFA has called for the high cost of borrowing faced by farmers to be reduced.

IFA farm business chair Tom Doyle said Ireland has one of the highest levels of credit constraints for SMEs in the EU. He said it was "critical" farmers have access to lower cost loans to remain competitive.

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