Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) tillage chair Gavin Carberry has called for supports to be directed to tillage farmers as rising fertiliser costs, associated with the unprecedented surge in natural gas prices in Europe, are set to batter the sector.

“From fuel to fertiliser, all our costs have gone up substantially. There is also no indication at present that these costs won’t spiral further out of control,” he said.

“The availability and cost of fertiliser in particular is a real worry. As tillage farmers, we just don’t know if we’ll be able to get our hands on what we need for next spring and what extortionate price we’re going to be expected to pay for it. Many of us just won’t be able to do it,” he said.

CAP supports

Carberry said the massive hikes in input costs show how badly farmers need CAP supports to be directed at productive farmers.

“We must keep the pressure on to ensure that active farmers in the low-income sectors are the priority in the next CAP,” he said.

He added that the price of commodities such as grain and beef will also have to increase in line with these unsustainable input price hikes.

“It is not feasible to expect farmers to absorb all these extra costs. We will simply be driven out of business,” he said.