Young tillage farmers are “in peril” and the latest bout of wet weather has caused further misery for farmers still waiting to harvest crops, Macra has warned.
Met Éireann said today (Saturday, September 30) that it has been wetter “than average nationwide over the last seven days, especially in the south”.
It also warned that the next seven days are expected to see “variable amounts of rainfall with around 10-20mm in general”.
“Some southern and Atlantic coastal counties are expected to receive higher rainfall amounts perhaps up to 50mm in some parts of Connacht,” the national meteorological service advised.
Met Éireann also warned that soil conditions could deteriorate further and that there was a “chance of localized flooding”.
According to Macra the latest weather conditions “only strengthens” calls for the government to direct the €9.5 million in agriculture reserve funding from the EU Commission to the tillage sector.
The organization has warned that maize crops in particular have been impacted by the latest heavy rainfall.
Macra’s national president, Elaine Houlihan, said it supports calls from other farm representatives for the tillage sector now to receive “exceptional aid”.
“Young tillage farmers are in a vulnerable place, they are not able to carry financial losses from this year’s tillage harvest, while at the same time our Food Vision policy is encouraging tillage farmers to expand and increase the area of tillage in the country,” she added.
Houlihan believes that both the EU and Irish government need to support vulnerable young tillage farmers and what she described as ‘rainy day’ reserve funds are in place for a reason and “now is the time to activate them.”
According to Macra all tillage farmers, regardless of age, are experiencing “a very challenging year financially due to difficult weather conditions, high input costs coupled with weaker market prices”.