Farmers in south are worst hit


Farmers in south are worst hit

Farmers in parts of south Donegal are among the worst hit by the weather situation which is affecting farmers in the county.

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) in the county says farmers are facing real hardship due to the lack of dry days over the summer months.

Representatives of farmers from across the north west, including Donegal, met with agriculture minister Michael Creed recently and called on him to take measures to ease the financial hardship on farmers.

Tillage farmers are experiencing severe financial hardship with multiple harvests losing money.

The lack of dry days have led to major difficulties in cutting enough fodder to feed animals this winter.

The IFA called on the minister for reassurances that if a fodder shortage occurs that there is provision made available to deal with the situation.

Chair of the Donegal IFA Michael Chance said they had a productive meeting with the minister in KIllybegs last Monday.

“I hope that he listens to us as we have some real hardship cases,” he said.

He said that while there are cases around the county, south Donegal is seeing some of the worst cases due to pockets of “very difficult land”.

“We want to get help to those that really need it. There are some very serious cases in the south of the county. We have cases all over the county but it is particularly bad down there. There are farmers in very difficult situations who are suffering stress,” he said.

“I was chatting to one farmer which has had his cows in from July (because of the weather) and out for just one week. The land is saturated. The rainfall has been lower than the same time last year but we have hardly had a dry 24 hours all summer. Our only hope now is that we get a dry October.”

Mr Chance said that farmers could face problems with fodder shortages in the spring.

“We don’t want to be alarmist but there is an issue here and there is a potential issue in the spring when the fodder runs out. We are trying to get as much information out to farmers now to help them stretch their fodder.”