The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) have insisted that farm payments scheduled for payment in autumn are paid in line with previous payment dates that saw the ANC payment made in mid-September with the Basic Payment made in the third week of October.
Following this week’s meeting on the Farmers Charter of Rights new timescales for payments were outlined by Department of Agriculture staff. These proposed dates will see the ANC payment date move from the middle of September to the 15th of October with the BISS (successor to the Basic Payment Scheme) moving back by one week to the end of October.
Speaking on this National President Vincent Roddy, stressed the need to maintain the current payment dates, stating “how many farmers are falling across the line when it comes to cash-flow at this time of year and to expect them to wait for another month is unacceptable.”
“For suckler and sheep farmers that are tied into a system where most of their income from sales doesn’t come until late autumn and into the winter months of November and December. The ANC payment in September is often their first substantial income in months and eagerly anticipated” stated Roddy. He also added how “There will be a knock on effect when Agri Contractors and Agricultural Suppliers will have their bills cleared,”
Beyond this, there is, he continued “the added concern around the cattle and sheep trade that benefits from these payments through September and October. This could be a major factor especially for those farmers selling store lamb where concern on price is already a factor. While some farmers will hold until the Farm Payments come through, many others, especially those selling lambs off the hills may not have the land base to do this.”
While acknowledging that the Department is under pressure in rolling out a new CAP Programme that is quite demanding, the INHFA leader was adamant that farmers can’t become collateral damage in this stating that “the Minister and his Department must find a way to get these payments out to farmers in line with previous payment dates.”