Ifac call on Minister Creed to convene emergency meeting of lenders
Ifac today called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. to immediately convene a meeting of lenders to seek reassurance that there are appropriate credit facilities available to farmers over the coming months as the farming sector faces the prospect of a very difficult and costly winter.
Speaking today, John Donoghue ifac CEO said; “In recent weeks our teams around the country are meeting more and more farmers anxious about being able to meet their financial commitments this year. The heatwave has meant that many are burning through their winter fodder stocks as on farm grass growth has stalled. Farmers are desperately trying to figure out how to source and finance new fodder supplies for the winter. With silage currently priced at €45 per bale and little prospect of grass growth as the drought continues, feeding is very challenging this year after last year’s prolonged winter. On top of that, many farmers, particularly dairy farmers, will have to deal with a larger than average tax bill this year on the back of strong milk prices in 2017. Agricultural merchants have been generously supplying credit to farmers to help them through in recent months but that can’t go on forever. Together all of these factors are building up to create a perfect financial storm that many farm families will struggle to manage.”
“Our professionals are currently flat out supporting farmers, offering practical financial advice and putting fodder and cash flow budgets in place but we can all see where this is headed. Many farmers are finding it difficult to get access to credit at manageable rates and this needs urgent attention. Minister Creed should immediately convene a meeting of lenders to seek reassurance that there are appropriate credit facilities available to farmers over the coming months. The banks and other lending institutions are traditionally good farming partners. It’s important that they display maximum flexibility and understanding in dealing with farm families who are doing their best to manage costs in what is turning out to be an exceptionally costly and stressful year.”