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Bad Weather Causes Problems for Irish Farmers

16 August 2012, at 6:47am

IRELAND - Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) President John Bryan said the continuing record rain falls this summer have increased costs and hit production hard as well as making farming conditions very difficult.

“Weather related problems are building up. There are widespread reports of fodder shortages around the country with reduced volumes of silage saved and lower quality due to the wet weather conditions.“

“The ground is so saturated that many farmers have been forced to re-house livestock which results in farmers having to buy in extra feed. Feed costs are particularly high, ironically partly because of severe drought in the United States and Russia, which has cut grain and soya bean yields and reduced supplies.“

“The grain harvest hangs in the balance. It is already clear that yields will be down with some fields or major parts of fields lost due to damage from flooding. After this week's rain, it is impossible to put machinery into fields. It is critical that growers get a run of good weather to allow ground conditions to dry out sufficiently to tackle harvesting.“

IFA Farm Family Chair Margaret Healy believes the bad weather this summer has increased stress levels among farmers and heightened the risk of accidents. “Farm work is being carried out in adverse conditions and farmers are rushing to get certain jobs done when rain gives way to dry spells. IFA is urging farmers to maintain a high level of vigilance on farm safety at all times to minimise the risk of accidents.“