Minister and IFA at odds on tillage losses payout
Speaking to the Farming Independent on compensation for tillage farmers hit by poor weather during last year's harvest, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the lack of accurate data on crop losses will pose significant challenges during discussions at this week's Tillage Stakeholders Forum.
"I'm guardian of the taxpayer's money and people would have to be satisfied that a new scheme is focused and targeted, but requests for such a fund have been pretty scant in terms of how it would work," said Minister Creed (pictured).
"I'm going to listen to the case that they make but there are no decisions at this stage. I believe there are very significant challenges around being able to introduce a scheme that is verifiable," he added.
Teagasc has stated it does not have concrete data on crop damage last autumn.
However, IFA president Joe Healy said he is "very hopeful that there will be something coming for these cereal farmers in the west" from this week's forum.
The IFA said the "washed out" cereal losses in the 2016 harvest were causing serious financial difficulties for about 245 farmers, mostly in western counties.
Following a comprehensive survey of the losses, the association has concluded that approximately 245 farmers lost up to €3.032m on grain and €1.073m on straw.
Speaking in Limerick last week, Mr Healy said that it was "inexplicable" that Minister Creed could continue to ignore the situation.