Macra has warned that tillage farmers, particularly young tillage farmers, “are in peril” following an extremely difficult harvest for tillage farmers.

It pointed out that reserve funds are in place for a reason and should be activated.

The organisation stated: “This week’s weather damage to crops awaiting harvest only strengthens the already valid claims for the activation of the EU exceptional aid measure for the tillage sector.

“Tillage farmers are experiencing a very challenging year financially due to difficult weather conditions, high input costs, coupled with weaker market prices.”

Backing calls

Macra’s national president Elaine Houlihan said: “Macra backs calls by other farm representatives for the activation of the EU agricultural reserve to provide much-needed exceptional aid for the tillage sector.

“Young tillage farmers are in a vulnerable place, they are not able to carry financial losses from this year’s tillage harvest, while at the same time our Food Vision policy is to encourage tillage farmers to expand and increase the area of tillage in the country.”

She continued: “Our ‘rainy day’ has come. The EU and Irish Government need to support vulnerable young tillage farmers. These ‘rainy day’ reserve funds are in place for a reason, now is the time to activate them.

“This week’s weather damage to maize crops has further compounded the difficulties faced by tillage farmers.”