Forcing farmers to plant crops into unsuitable ground conditions would only further exacerbate the poor income situation prevailing on many tillage farms, IFA tillage chair Mark Browne has said.

Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has sought a derogation on the three-crop rule from the European Commission due to the wet autumn conditions. Browne welcomed the news, saying he had called on the Minister to recognise the difficulties farmers faced in complying with greening regulations.

Twice the normal rainfall

According to Met Éireann figures, most of the main tillage areas had received up to twice the normal autumn rainfall levels.

Browne said this had significantly reduced the opportunities for planting, with some farmers reporting that they have been unable to plant winter crops for the first time in a generation.

The grain chair said the loss of the plant protection product Redigo Deter also meant the window for planting was reduced, as growers had to hold off planting until October due to the risk of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV).

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