Dairy farmers face an €800m financial hit this year - ICMSA

Dairy farmers face an €800m financial hit this year
Dairy farmers face an €800m financial hit this year
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Dairy farmers are facing an €800m financial hit this year, the ICMSA has said.

It says that, based on the Teagasc mid-year farm income assessment, Irish dairy farmers are facing an €800m income hit in 2018.

Pat McCormack, President of ICMSA, added that the situation could get even worse depending on weather conditions between now and next April and this is the dairy sector alone and does not take account of the equally significant income hits in the other farm sectors. 

"Lets’ be very clear, the impact of the weather-related issues in farming since this last time year will not only hit farmers pockets but will impact right across rural Ireland and this is an issue that will simply have to be moved up the agenda of Government."

He said that having met with members across the country this week, the level of concern and stress on farmers is unprecedented and at this stage, very concrete measures are going to have be implemented to boost fodder supplies and secondly reduce demand for fodder.

He said that a fodder import scheme is necessary now, as fodder shortage is fast becoming an EU wide problem.

"If we don’t move now, fodder may not be available later in the year."

He also said that the fodder deficits on farms with probably three months growth at best left this year is alarming and the Government need to put in place effective measures now. 

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"In addition, cashflow pressures are now also coming to the fore and the Brexit Loan scheme has to be implemented.

"This was announced almost a year ago and farmers cannot understand why it has not been implemented which is in sharp contrast to the loan scheme for other SME’s which has been in place for many months.  We’re in a cashflow crisis and this loan scheme must be rolled out now."

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