Actions needed to address drought on Tipperary farms

ICMSA

Actions needed to address drought on Tipperary farms

Drought is affecting local farms say ICMSA

With no rain expected for some time, pressures at farm level are growing by the day and now require a co-ordinated response to ensure that farmers can get through what is already an extremely difficult and stressful period said ICMSA President and Tipp farmer, Pat McCormack.

The heatwave is costing Tipperary farmers €1,750 a week in extra costs

In particular, Mr. McCormack said that the specific actions could be taken under a variety of headings:

Processors of milk, beef and all other farm products must pay the maximum possible price for the produce and they cannot be allowed to take advantage of the current pressures on farmers.

With reports that feed orders are taking over a week for delivery, the driver regulations for delivery of feed should be temporarily amended in line with the regulation for milk collection to ensure that feed can be delivered on time to farmers.

Availability of water is becoming a critical issue for some farmers and Irish Water will have to make water available to farmers where required. In addition, other relevant state agencies must facilitate farmers in securing water supplies where required.

The closing date for fertiliser spreading, 15 September, should be extended.

GLAS rules need to be amended particularly in relation to species-rich grassland and traditional hay meadows to allow farmers spread additional fertiliser to grow grass. Depending on weather conditions between now and the end of the year, farmers could be facing an unprecedented winter fodder crisis and Department scheme must not hinder farmers from growing additional fodder.

The Brexit Loan Scheme for farmers should be introduced without further delay.

The financial institutions need to play their part and allow loan restructuring without penalty where required.

The Department of Agriculture should establish a helpline for farmers affected by drought and point them in the appropriate direction for assistance.

Crop losses are inevitable as a result of the heatwave.

Where has all the water gone? Read Margaret's Rossiter's column