Don't bury your head in sand over fodder debts
Ease the burden with swift action and a cash-flow plan
Even though the fodder crisis is now, thankfully, behind us, its impact is still being felt on farms. Improved weather and good prices for milk and beef have helped to lift spirits, so now is a good time to address the problems caused by the extreme weather conditions of the last 12 months.
The farmers worst affected by the fodder and weather crisis are those with higher stocking rates and those on heavier soils.
There is also a big difference between the financial situation on less efficient farms and more efficient farms. However, even highly efficient farmers on heavy soils have been badly affected.
On many farms, good output prices will make it possible to work through the cash-flow issues.
However, there are a significant number of farms that are, and will continue to be, under financial pressure as a result of the last year. If you are one of these farmers, rest assured that you are not the only one and, equally, rest assured that there is help available to you to work through these difficulties.
The most important advice that I can give is to seek help at an early stage to address the problem.
All of the banks are encouraging people to come forward to discuss their situation.
You will need to sit down and make a plan to estimate the money that will come in and go out over the next few months – a cash-flow plan. Your Teagasc advisor, accountant or private consultant can help you with this.