The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has stated that banks, credit unions and agri merchants must act to ease the cashflow pressures which have built up on many farms as a result of the prolonged period of difficult weather.

Its farm business chair Bill O’Keeffe called on these lenders and credit providers to make immediate support available to struggling farmers.

O’Keeffe claims that recent engagements between the IFA, banks and credit unions have so far been positive.

Access to fast-tracked cashflow assistance must be afforded to farmers as prolonged delays are unworkable when money must be borrowed to buy fodder, he said.

'Intense pressure'

“Farmers are under intense pressure due to the continued challenging weather conditions, with cattle housed much longer than planned, vegetable crops unable to be harvested and tillage crops unable to be sown, cashflow issues are building on farms,” the IFA chair said.

“We are in constant contact with both the credit unions and the banks on this issue and the response we are receiving is positive, with a message to come and talk to providers of credit to see how they can assist farmers through this period.

“While this message is positive, the problem now is one of time. Where farmers have a requirement for fodder and have cashflow pressures, they need immediate access to cash.

"Credit unions and especially banks must look at putting solutions in place for same-day decisions on lending applications during this period.

“Waiting for days or weeks for a decision is not good enough if fodder needs to be purchased now for animals.”


O’Keeffe added that credit unions have heard that Cultivate can give “relatively swift” decisions farm loans.

“The main banks have products such as the Ukraine Credit Guarantee Scheme which can be utilised at times of cashflow issues such as this,” he said.

“I would encourage farmers who may be under cashflow pressure to assess their options and I am asking lenders, co-ops and merchants to immediately step up and help farmers through this difficult period.”