Minister must release payments to avert a crisis

Leitrim IFA Co. Executive has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to address the serious cash flow difficulties on farmers due to recent poor weather by releasing all payments that are due to farmers over the next six weeks.

Leitrim IFA Co. Executive has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to address the serious cash flow difficulties on farmers due to recent poor weather by releasing all payments that are due to farmers over the next six weeks.

Pat Gilhooley, Chairman Leitrim IFA Co. Executive said: “Many farmers are facing a lack of fodder and many have had to house animals and use silage that they need for next winter. The recent IFA Fodder Survey shows that 40% of those surveyed have had to rehouse animals and 60% have purchased feed concentrate at an average additional cost of €3,750.

Mr Gilhooley said the Minister must show a concern for the serious income situation that farmers are facing and could begin to address the problem by:

1. Commencing 75% first tranche payment of 2012 REPS 4 and AEOS 1 & 2 payment to 45,000 farmers worth €166.5m

2. Paying all outstanding AEOS1 & AEOS2 payments due for 2010 and 2011 worth about €8m.

3. Ensuring that no farmers Disadvantaged Area payment is held up when it is due in the 3rd week of September.

4. The stocking rate derogation applications on Disadvantaged Areas are dealt with quickly and not held up.

5. Ensuring that the full 50% Single Farm Payment is paid to all farmers on 16th October.

6. That there is no delay in payment on any farmer’s file that is out for inspection.

Mr Gilhooley said a major income problem is arising and he called on Teagasc to have ongoing assessment of each area to ascertain necessary targeted action that is required.