Donegal TD seeks aid for tillage farmers

McConalogue: Hundreds of tillage farmers saw their crops fail as a result of severe weather.

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Donegal TD seeks aid for tillage farmers

Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil TD

Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil TD, has said that he will continue to fight for compensation for tillage farmers, many who find themselves under severe pressure as a result of the bad weather last autumn.

“I will be raising this issue again in the Dáil next week and making the case for a compensation package for these farmers," Deputy McConalogue, Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson, said. "I hope Minister Creed will wake up to the seriousness of the situation and agree to provide much-needed assistance to these vulnerable farm families.”

Fianna Fáil say they will raise the issue in the Dáil next Tuesday.

“Hundreds of tillage farmers in Donegal, and along the west and south coasts of the country saw their crops fail as a result of the severe weather last autumn," Deputy McConalogue said. "The torrential rain saw land waterlogged and tillage harvests ruined, resulting in lost revenue and income for farmers.

"These losses can be ill-afforded at a time when farmers are already battling against low grain prices, increased input costs and poor margins," he said. The deputy said that tillage farmers, "who were at the pin of their collars, are now under severe financial pressure".

Deputy McConalogue highlighted the fact that similar action has been taken before.

“Back in 2010, the then Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith introduced the Aid Scheme for Potato and Vegetable Crops Damaged by Frost – so the precedent exists," he said. He also emphasised that funds are available to be spent on the issue, saying that the Department is already running an underspend of €86m for its 2016 expenditure budget.