The Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) is calling for a pause to all farm inspections as farmers struggle to cope with difficult weather conditions.

“Farmers are under enormous pressure and this is something all State bodies need to take into consideration," vice-president John Joe Fitzgerald outlined.

Across all sectors of farming, the unrelenting rainfall is taking a toll, which “can be seen through increased costs, heightened stress levels and an ever-increasing workload that has left many farmers exhausted,” Fitzgerald said.

While Department inspections are the main inspection farmers could be facing, Fitzgerald detailed how “any pause should also include all State bodies such as county councils, National Parks and Wildlife Services [and the] Environmental Protection Agency,” added the INHFA vice-president.


Beyond the need to pause inspections, there is, he continued, “a requirement on the Minister to look at possible financial support through a fodder scheme that must be timely and substantial”.

With a number of fodder support schemes organised in the past, he said: “The roll-out of any possible scheme shouldn’t be a major issue, what we need is a commitment on a budget and a timescale.”

In concluding, the farm leader emphasised “how nothing is permanent and definitely not our weather. Farmers have seen difficult weather periods before and got through them and this will be the same.

"However, it is vital that we don’t add to the considerable pressure that farmers are currently trying to cope with and this is why we are looking for a pause in farm inspections," he said.