Wexford farmers, and their counterparts around the country, have endured a horrendous winter and an equally wet and cold spring, and they are facing even more challenges due to recent hikes in diesel costs.
Sinn Féin Ireland South MEP, Liadh Ní Riada has revealed that the cost of agricultural diesel was up 20% on this time last year.
“A long, wet winter combined with a fodder crisis and a complete lack of interest from the Government means that while the weather may be improving many Irish farms are still suffering huge cash flow problems,” said Ms Ní Riada, who added; “A 20% hike in diesel costs is just another kick they do not need while they are down.”
Industry media is reporting that the increased price of diesel is seeing silage contractors face additional costs of up to €500 per day.
Ms Ní Riada added; “This will put farmers between a rock and a hard place as they decide between costs they can’t afford now, or facing yet another devastating fodder shortage next year. And of course all of this is being exacerbated by the proposed 5% cut to the CAP budget, a cut that will hit farmers directly at a time when what they need is additional support, not the rug pulled out from underneath them.”
Ms Ní Riada is alleging that the Government completely and utterly failed farmers this year, at one stage claiming that a fodder crisis didn’t even exist. “I would urge the Government to learn from the mistakes they have made, to keep a close eye on this and other developing issues that are effecting farmers and to change their current blasé attitude to rural Ireland altogether.”