31st July, 2012
President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, Gabriel Gilmartin, says banks have to recognise that they will have to play their part in allowing farmers to trade through the looming winter fodder crisis.
Mr. Gilmartin made the comments following the release of a Teagasc survey, showing that 15 per cent of drystock farmers say they will be short of silage for next winter. “There is no doubt that this is going to have a serious impact on cashflow on Irish farms. Farmers are going to have to spend their way out of this situation, because there is no other solution to a fodder shortage other than to buy in supplementary feed. Traditionally, straw is used as an alternative to silage – but we don’t know what the straw supply will be like because the corn hasn’t been cut yet.”
“This is where the banks come in. They must sit up and recognise the reality of what’s happening on the farms. They cannot continue to ignore the needs of their farming customers. We must be allowed to access credit and trade through what we know will be a very tough winter,” Mr. Gilmartin concluded.