Thursday, August 2, 2012
New Ross farmers will need emergency aid – O’ Connell
Local Sinn Féin rep Oisin O’ Connell has called for emergency aid to be provided to farmers who have been ruinously affected by poor weather conditions this summer. “It would be no exaggeration to say that the recent run of poor weather has placed the South Wexford farming community in jeopardy.”
Mr O’ Connell said that the unprecedented rainfall this summer, combined with less hours of sunshine and cooler ground temperatures, had placed many farmers in dire straits. The Sinn Féin Chairman urged the Minister for Agriculture to bring forward the single farm payment to ensure the survival of critically hit family farms.
“The terrible summer we have had so far has impacted on dairy yields, forced farmers to rehouse stock where land had become waterlogged and impacted on mart prices as many farmers fearing a long winter attempt to offload stock. Many farmers were forced to rehouse their herds in July, leading to massive demand for feeding. The cost of feeding has increased fivefold. Valiant attempts to rescue the silage crop have resulted in some success but returns will be seriously down on last year.”
“In 2009, during another bad summer, a 70% advance of the single farm payment was agreed to ease cash-flow problems on farms. Such an advance should be given again this year. As the payment is not due to December, Minister Coveney needs to ensure farmers that early payments will be brought forward to mid October.”
“Farm inspections are currently being conducted around the county relating to REPS and the Single Farm Payment. Inspectors need to show leniency this year and understand that weather conditions that may have prevented a farmer from fulfilling all his obligations are outside that farmer’s control.”