'Farmers are carrying the can - my feed bill went up €10,000 a month'
A dairy farmer's feed bill has increased by €10,000 a month compared with this time last year due to the drought.
Peter Hynes has called on the industry to campaign for an increased milk price to help farmers overcome financial difficulties.
The dairy farmer in Aherla, Co Cork, said all farm organisations needed to "unite" and campaign for an increased milk price if dairy farmers were to get through the crisis.
He said: "My feed bill is €10,000 a month more than this time last year and that's the tune I'm expected to carry.
"The banks are going to help me and the co-ops are going to give me extended credit, but at the end of the day I have to pay it back.
"Farmers are going to have to bankroll this, and carry the can for it. If you look at the price of grain, straw and vegetables, they are clearly going to go up due to increased costs and shortages in the industry. I think the co-ops and the three main farm organisations need to get together and discuss a scenario where the price of milk and dairy produce and meat sold within Ireland is increased by retailers and that increase is passed directly on to the farmer."
Mr Hynes said if the milk price increased by 2c/litre it would save him €16,000 a year and he feels consumers would be more than happy to pay extra, if they knew it would go directly back to the farmer.
He also urged the main farm organisations to hold a summit to address where farmers will source fodder.