IFA president Tim Cullinan has said dairy farm families feel betrayed by Minister McConologue and the government following the decision on the Nitrates derogation.
“I have spoken to many dairy farmers since this was announced and a feeling of shock and betrayal is the mood out there,” said Mr Cullinan. “Most who are in derogation are farming small to average size farms and this is going to make many of them unviable unless they can find expensive land to rent, that they actually do not require other than for nitrates calculation purposes.
“In the last 10 years, dairy farmers have followed government policy and invested on their farms. Now a change in policy will leave a generation of family farms facing a serious threat to their viability,” he said.
“The lack of support from the government is startling. Derogation farmers have had ever more stringent rules imposed on them over the last number of years, the latest being banding at the start of 2023.
“Instead of allowing time for the new measures to take effect and work with farmers on the journey to improving water quality, this blunt instrument is being imposed.
“There was no consultation when the Department of Agriculture agreed to this mid-term review and Teagasc have indicated it will result in negligible if any improvements for water.”
The IFA president said the Nitrates announcement came after the Minister’s decision to write to farmers advising that certain payments including ANC and the Basic Payment would be paid later in 2023 compared to previous years. In addition, the Department’s failure to approve TAMS applications for 2023 is causing huge issues for farmers who cannot proceed with building before the winter.
“Quite simply, this government is failing farmers,” Mr Cullinan concluded.
Irish Farmers Association
Irish Farm Centre, Bluebell, Dublin 12, Ireland, D12 YXW5
Tel: +353 1 450 0266