Pat Gilhooley, Chairman, Leitrim IFA, has described the income figures for 2013 from the Teagasc National Farm Survey as a wake-up call for the Minister for Agriculture of the income crisis in the drystock sectors.
Mr Gilhooley said, “The income figures presented by Teagasc are stark. The low-income farming sectors, cattle rearing, cattle finishing and sheep were hit particularly hard by the high costs incurred as a result of the fodder crisis in the Spring of 2013.
“These sectors are making a significant contribution to the economic recovery, through increased exports and employment; however, the reality is that farmers are not receiving a fair and sustainable income. The Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney must immediately act to improve the viability of the drystock sectors”.
He continued, “There must be real actions arising from the Beef Summit to restore price competition to the beef sector.
“The Minister must also commit to a strong Sheep Grassland Payment. It is critical also that the GLAS scheme is opened as soon as possible, with contracts commencing from 1st January, and payments made in 2015.
Gilhooley concluded, “It is clear that soaring input costs are impacting negatively across all sectors.”