Poor weather, record feed prices and rising fuel costs mean difficult winter ahead for Tipperary farmers

Labour MEP for Munster, Phil Prendergast, has today highlighted the difficulties facing Tipperary farmers heading into winter and called on the government to take specific measures to alleviate some of the problems facing farmers and their families.


Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms. Prendergast said “The weather this summer has been atrocious.  Met Eireann reported higher than average rainfall in June, July and August, with June being the wettest since records began.


“Many farmers I’ve spoken to have had to rehouse livestock with the resulting increase in the cost of feeding animals. Livestock and dairy farmers are particularly going to struggle during the winter as few have managed to save enough feed and many will have to buy in extra supplies.


“There is also a problem with the feed prices themselves, as drought in America has pushed the price of soya to an all-time record of €560 a tonne.


“This means that Tipp farmers will be doubly affected, as the poor weather has an impact on the quality of their own feed, while imports are at a record high.


“This is not to mention the fact that fuel prices are also increasing.


“There is little the government could have done to prevent this disaster, however it can take measures to help lessen the burden on farmers and their families.


“First of all, I am calling on the government to take these circumstances into account when it announces Budget 2013, as many of the statistics, on which the budget will be made, will not reflect the realities of this summer and the global market. All they need to do is talk to farmers on the ground to understand the extent to which they are struggling.


“The government needs to examine the possibility of the early issuing of direct payments due to farmers from the single farm payment, AEOS and REPS.


“I am also calling on the government to put pressure on the banks to extend temporary loans to farmers to help cover the additional costs being heaped on farmers this winter.


“I think these measures must be a priority for the government to prevent disaster for rural Tipperary families in the long winter ahead.”

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