At least 5,000ac of crops remain unharvested around the country, an emergency tillage meeting held by Wexford IFA heard on Tuesday night.
“It’s time to call the 2023 harvest as done, with disaster relief now needed for farmers with uncut crops,” Wexford farmer John Murphy said.
The vice-chair of the IFA grain committee was reacting following a night of heavy rainfall.
Murphy said there were still at least 5,000ac to be cut around the country with more than half of that in Wexford. Quality has deteriorated to the point where corn had little value to merchants, the meeting heard.
Teagasc’s Ciaran Hickey said there were three distinct categories, all requiring support. The worst affected were farmers with unharvested crops, facing utter disaster. Satellite technology could be used to identify these crops, he suggested.
The second wider group of farmers have completed their cereal harvest, but have sustained significant financial losses, and then the wider tillage sector is also in need of ongoing structural support to sustain it.
Murphy suggested a Government-backed, low-interest loan fund could be part of the aid package for that longer-term support.
Independent TD Verona Murphy spoke of the stress and worry among farm families across the county, with no money coming in. Furthermore, high tax bills relating to the bumper 2022 harvest are expected at the end of the month. These will compound difficulties.