Tim Cullinan, IFA president
“The nitrates derogation will be a big issue this year. For dairy, prices will be another big one and the challenge that puts on farms.
“Beef price is still an issue, and for sheep it will be both prices and the minister’s failure to acknowledge the sector’s need for an additional payment.
“On the grain-side, we expect to hear a lot on the challenges around harvest time.
“In general, there will be a lot of farmers looking for simplification and common sense. We know we can achieve what we need to on climate and water quality, but only if we work with farmers.”
Pat McCormack, ICMSA president
“I’ve been going to the Ploughing match since 2010, to the ICMSA stand, and I expect this to be as tough a ploughing match as we’ve ever hosted.
“This is from the point of view of farm families coming in [who are] facing financial problems and in despair.
“Dairying is very constant and very labour intensive, once the cow starts calving until the silage is made and the breeding season is over and the calves are reared. Now they’re facing into a winter where some of them don’t have significant fodder. Others have issues with fodder quality because of delays with second cuts.
“So, there are going to be additional costs and it’s very hard to know at this point in time what the answers are for those individual farm families.”
Elaine Houlihan, Macra president
“For young farmers, they’ll be focussed on the succession side of things.
“The upcoming Budget is also going to be make or break. We’ll be pushing hard on that. We hope the Minister can come with positive news.
“We’ll be lobbying the Minister hard on farm safety too.
“We’ll be looking for more [tractor driving]courses throughout the country and innovation.”
Dermot Kelleher, ICSA president
“The demise of the drystock sector, and the sheep sector getting no support will be the most talked about [issue] at the Ploughing.
“There are terrible prices being paid to farmers for beef and lamb.
“Climate change could also be brought up. Farmers are being blamed for everything, despite all they do for the environment. They really don’t think they are being treated fairly for all the things they are doing.”
Vincent Roddy, INHFA president
“The price of lamb and the direction of the sheep sector will be well-discussed. There is huge pressure on price acting against increased costs.
“Price will be a major issue for the cattle too.
“We would expect to hear a lot about the delay in payments, that will be a huge concern of ours. There will be issues flagged by farmers on designations, as well as the nature restoration law, which is one of the biggest threats to farming but it has not fully struck home.”