ICMSA President highlights fodder shortage and Brexit as major issues


The new ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, has identified the major problems facing Irish agriculture for the coming year.

ICMSA President highlights fodder shortage and Brexit as major issues

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  • 2 years ago

The new ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, has identified the major problems facing Irish agriculture for the coming year.


The new ICMSA President, Pat McCormack, has identified the major problems facing Irish agriculture for the coming year.

The new and youngest every ICMSA president, Pat McCormack, has named the two major issues he feels is facing Irish agriculture for the coming year.

These, he named, as Brexit, live exports, and a lack of fodder in the country. He said they are “the first two on Irish farming’s 2018 to-do list”. He said they have to be “faced and dealt with quickly and correctly”.

Fodder and calf exports:
The first item on McCormack’s agenda, was the fodder shortage threatening many farmers. The main affected regions are the west and north of the country, with McCormack saying supports will have to be implemented to ensure additional fodder can be obtained in affected areas at reasonable costs. This he says, or else for concentrates to be subsidized for the affected farmers.

He also laid the warning, that the shortage could be made worse, if problems with shipping calves are not dealt with.

“Additional fodder will be needed in certain areas and we’ll be looking for the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine to provide support for the transportation and purchase of this fodder. But we also see a link to the question of live exports;” he said.

“The calving season is only weeks away and with over 1.5 million calves being born between now and the end of May, it is essential that the shipping issue is resolved in advance of the calving season and that we have adequate capacity to get to our markets.”he added.

He said that any further shortages, will only increase stress for farmers and says the ICMSA want Creed to do something immediately.

“Any threat to that trade – coming on top of a fodder crisis – really compounds an already bad situation and pushes already stressed farms to the edge. These would be the two issues that ICMSA would want to see Minister Creed getting to grips with immediately”, said the new President.

Longer Term:
On the long-term issues, Mr. McCormack for the Irish Agri-food sector. He said the conclusion of a satisfactory deal is still a long way off. He was adamant that given the nature and size of the threat to our beef sector presented by Mercosur that Ireland had no alternative but to block it “without any apology to anyone”.

On the CAP Post 2020, McCormack said that ICMSA would insist that Ireland held out for “at least the maintenance of the current budget for CAP” with support for family farms to be the bedrock of CAP going forward.

He also said that the volatility of product prices, remains a key issue and concern, citing that family farms as ones particularly exposed. He said the ICMSA are committed to a continuous lobbying effort aimed at securing taxation measures in Budget 2019 to support farmers during periods of price volatility and the incorporation into CAP of the Voluntary Milk Supply Reduction Scheme proposed by ICMSA in late 2016 and which he credited with stabilising supply and turning the market around after the milk price collapse of 15/.

“There is no shortage of issues on which our members have strong and reasonable positions and I will be articulating their concerns: Climate change, implementation of the Nitrate regulations, payments and inspections are always core concerns in farming and rural communities and I will endeavour to come forward with positive and reasonable solutions while in no way lessening the commitment to defending the interests of the family farms that are ICMSA’s core membership and the economic backbone of rural Ireland”, he concluded.

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