The IFA’s series of regional Dairy Farm Income Meetings comes to Carrick-on-Shannon’s Bush Hotel on Monday 26th September at 8pm.
Chaired by IFA Regional Connacht Chairman Padraig Joyce, the meeting will hear from Aurivo Chairman Pat Duffy and Fianna Fail spokesman on Agriculture Charlie McConalogue TD, as well as IFA National Dairy Chairman Sean O’Leary and Dairy Executive Catherine Lascurettes.
Mr O’Leary urged the dairy farmers in the North West to attend in numbers to make their voices heard by both industry and politicians: “Thankfully, milk prices are improving, but they have a long way to go to allow farmers cover their costs, never mind rebuild margins,” he said.
“Farmers will continue to need support this year from industry and government, and we must learn from this year’s severe difficulties to help farmers better cope with future episodes of low incomes. We also need a region-specific response in light of the wet and cold summer weather which in the North West has this year followed the severe flooding of 2015,” Mr O’Leary said.
“Co-ops must take a leaf out of Arla’s book, who have recently announced a 1.6p/l (1.84c/l) increase for their UK suppliers’ October milk, and pass back to farmers every last possible cent. Even allowing for the continuation of milk price increases over the coming months, on farm cash flow continues to be challenged all around the country, especially in the North West where many cows had to be housed early,” he said.
“On Monday night, we want a strong call to come from the Connacht region for the judicious and urgent use by government of EU aid packages and state aid to provide farmers with cash flow support, including low cost short term finance to allow farmers convert their accumulating bills, to be repaid when incomes improve sufficiently,” he added.
“We will also call for a taxation response to volatile incomes. IFA’s proposal, which aims to adapt the 5-year income averaging scheme to allow farmers pay tax on current income for up to 2 years in that period, is relevant to all sectors and must be implemented in the 2017 Budget,” he said.
“Dairy farmers of the North West, come and support our case, in your own best interest,” he concluded.