LIMERICK IFA chairman, Aidan Gleeson, urges farmers in trouble to contact their office on 061 314196.
Even the most prudent farmer is seeing the back wall of the silage pit. You can’t go out on the road without seeing a tractor and trailer with bales on it, and it is being sourced from everywhere.
Mr Gleeson says the bad weather going back almost 12 months and high input costs has resulted in a “perfect storm” hitting farmers.
“There is a lot of stress out there. If it was just a fodder shortage you could see an end to it but it is financial, costs are high, fodder is scarce, cattle are in, the weather, everything is going against us,” said Mr Gleeson, who urged farmers in difficulty to ring them.
“Contact us, we will do our best to source it for them. It is no reflection on farmers, it is just circumstances beyond your control. No one could plan for this, it has been an awful year. We need everyone working together to get over the finish line,” said Mr Gleeson. The chairman’s father had a saying that is even more relevant than it ever was. He used always say he would be happy if he had enough fodder to get to March 1 but it is nearly April 1. And the weather forecast until Easter Monday is for more unseasonably low temperatures.
IFA president, John Bryan, called on co-ops, feed mills and banks to continue to support their farmer customers and do everything to ensure adequate feed and cashflow is provided to assist farmers cope with winter fodder and cashflow difficulties.
“Commodity prices in dairy, beef and lamb are looking strong for the year and farmers will settle their bills when their cashflow situation improves. Until the weather picks up, the wider agri-business community must support farm businesses through a very difficult time on farms,” said Mr Bryan.
Meanwhile, Bruff gardai and Limerick IFA will have stands at Kilmallock Mart on Easter Monday. Bruff gardai started the initiative last year to talk to farmers about farm security, towing trailers legislation and any other concerns they may have.