ICSA calls for advance on Single Farm Payment to relieve hardship caused by bad weather

2nd July, 2012

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association says the recent bad weather means there is now a compelling case for the approval of an advance payment under the Single Farm Payment.  

ICSA president, Gabriel Gilmartin says conditions are very poor in most parts of the country and this is affecting trade and cashflow on farms.  “We have just witnessed the wettest June in Ireland since records began.  Farmers are finding it very difficult to get on with their work under these conditions.  For example, land is waterlogged and silage-cutting has been an ordeal on many farms – in some cases the weather has been too wet to even cut it yet, while some farmers have cut silage but haven’t been able to pick it up, which is a disastrous situation.  The bad weather is going to have huge cash flow implications in terms of higher meal bills, poor thrive and now, the risk that some winter feed won’t be saved at all.”

“In recent years the advance payment on October 16th has become a regular feature but it is important to remember that it is not guaranteed – the government has to present a strong case as to why funding should be released early to farmers.  The hardship being caused by the poor weather at the moment cannot be ignored and I would urge the Minister to put forward the strongest possible case.”

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, has already announced that he has asked the EU Commission to allow the advance payment this year, stating that he feels there are “real financial benefits for the rural economy” in bringing forward some of the payment by six weeks from the usual date of December 1st.    

Mr. Gilmartin concluded, “it is vitally important that every effort is made to ensure that direct payments end up in the farmer’s account as soon as possible.”