I just simply don’t understand the lack of support for the struggling tillage farmers that don’t have crops in the ground. Everyone seems to recognise and talk about the challenge in particular for this sector, yet nobody seems willing to bring actual tangible emergency support to the table.

For weeks we have highlighted the real problem that exists that will lead to reduced yields with high input costs, if farmers even get crops into the ground at all as we head for the middle of April.

The danger for the sector is that farmers will decide to opt out of tillage completely unless support is forthcoming.

So while the transport subsidy move on forage is a welcome step, it still falls short for most livestock farmers. To completely ignore the one sector that is time dependent on ground conditions, time of year and crop choice is an utter disgrace.

Tillage farmers need emergency financial support now – not in four weeks’ time when it is too late. Just because they haven’t got livestock doesn’t mean they don’t have costs.

Think about it – tillage farmers left grain on the ground due to weather damage at harvesting last summer.

Rejection rates

Many cut at excessively high moistures and had high rejection rates due to poor weather, reducing the price achieved. Many failed to sow in the autumn and if they did, pests and water impacted crops resulting in the presence of thin crops, which still need inputs.

Morale is on the floor.

I accept some crops that went unharvested were compensated last year, but that was a minority of the sector compared to the torment on tillage farms here and now.

Yes we need to be positive, but a dose of reality, perspective and fairness between farmers is also needed. Farmers that have 50 years experience are all saying they have never seen land as wet while they have farmed.

While we hear the Tillage Vision report has finally gone to the Minister, surely some emergency support is necessary in the short term for a sector on its knees, like other sectors have got in the past.