UFU President Harry Sinclair has visited farms in Fermanagh and Armagh to gauge first hand the problems members are facing with fodder shortages and cash flow.
Harry Sinclair said: “I want to be on the ground meeting members and with so many problems facing farmers this winter, it’s the right time to be out speaking to the grass roots. I have visited farms in the Armagh and Letterbreen areas and it was good to get a full report on how members are coping at a time when fodder is in short supply, often is a poorer quality than previous years and is proving very expensive for those who have to buy it in. As ever our members are being very resilient but I am very concerned that we are going through a very tough winter and processors and retailers are continuing to largely ignore the plight of the businesses who are supplying them their raw material.
“Our members need an early and dry spring to get things moving again. The slurry closed period will also end on 1 February and we need dry weather to let fields soak so our members can get their slurry out. We also have one in five farmers facing the coming months without their Single Farm Payments and this is also causing a big concern. And for some farms they are closed with TB and can’t sell stock to ease their cash flow, which is a seriously difficult position to be in. These are all issues which we must see resolved to give our members a more prosperous year ahead.
“The UFU leadership team is committed to doing what ever we can to move these issues forward positively.”