Speaking last week, James Brennan, Chairman of Leitrim IFA Rural Development Committee said the IFA is meeting the Department of Agriculture to insist on an early payout of direct payments to farmers to address the serious cashflow difficulties that have emerged on farms due to the very wet summer.
Mr Brennan said the early payout of direct payments has never been more urgent given the very high costs that farmers have had to bear with this year. He commented: “Many farmers have already utilised whatever fodder they have had and they will have to purchase additional feed over the coming winter.”
Mr Brennan said Disadvantaged Area payments must commence in the third week of September, the 50% advance of the Single Farm Payment in mid October and the commencement of REPS 4 and AEOS 1 and 2 payments from the end of September. He also said that it would not be acceptable that any farmers’ payment is held up as a result of the farmers’ file being up for inspection. He continued: “Delays in previous years where this has arisen has been a cause of much frustration for farmers and it is vital that Minister Coveney intervenes in this area.”
Concluding, Mr Brennan said: “Farm income in 2012 is likely to be down by up to 30% as a result of the bad weather. The early payout of all direct payments has never been more important and farmers expect Minister Coveney to step up to the mark.”