By Kim O'Leary
After a difficult and late spring, which caused challenges on most farms, the current persisting weather conditions are adding additional costs, workload and are going to impact on already low winter fodder reserves.
AIB is encouraging farmers to take action now to try to quantify the effect of higher costs on their individual farm situation and determine their cashflow requirements for the weeks and months ahead. AIB has put in place a wide range of support options for farmers including Farmer Credit Line and it has also extended phone line hours for farming customers and 48 hour decision on business loans and overdrafts up to €60,000 for AIB customers in place
Patrick Butterly, AIB Agri Advisor in Kildare said: “2018 has been an exceptional year from a weather perspective which has resulted in higher costs on all livestock and arable farm systems. What is unique about this year is that all farms have been affected - farmers on heavier land more so in the spring and farmers on drier type soils more so in recent weeks”.
On many livestock farms, recently replenished silage stocks are being reopened and many farmers are eating into their winter fodder reserves, which in many instances are well below desired levels. The limited grass growth, which was already back by over 1.2t/ha at the beginning of July on the previous year, is resulting in many farmers feeding higher levels of concentrates, silage and other supplements. Water supply is also starting to affect some farms. On the output side, poorer grass quality is also affecting animal thrive and milk output. And while the harvest is starting to commence in some parts of the country, crops on lighter soils are likely to be suffering and yields of later sown spring crops are likely to be back.
Patrick continues:“It looks like the current weather conditions will continue for a further period and even when rain does arrive, it will be some time before normal grass growth resumes. We are encouraging our farming customers to determine how the additional costs are likely to affect their individual farm systems, be that poorer yields/output, reduced thrive and/or higher feed costs. For farmers who need additional cash flow support our Farmer Credit Line product may be an appropriate solution and we are encouraging our customers who may need support to contact us early. We will work with farmers on a case by case basis to find the most appropriate and cost effective solution for their farm. Our latest edition of Agri Matters is now available in branch and online and it contains two practical articles on rebuilding fodder and cash reserves which may be of interest”.
AIB has a range of options to support our farming customers which are subject to normal lending conditions, including:
- 48 hour decision on business loans and overdrafts up to €60,000 for AIB customers;
- AIB Farmer Credit Line
- Extended contact hours for farmers via a dedicated phone line, 1890 47 88 33, which is available Monday to Friday 8am to 9pm and Saturdays from 9am to 6pm.
Customers can engage with our team of Relationship Managers through a number of channels including in branch; on phone at 1890 47 88 33 or online at www.aib.ie/farming.
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