The average dairy farmer can expect to pay as much as €600 extra per annum for contractors, within ten years, after the Budget brought a 1.6% carbon tax increase in agri-diesel charges, which is expected to be repeated every year for the next ten years.
The 2019 National Ploughing Championships end tomorrow evening. Ireland’s most popular outdoor event, and one of Europe's biggest, it was attended by almost a quarter of a million people last year. It is more than unlikely, hopefully, that the figure fell as dramatically as farmer confidence collapsed in the last year.
Many farmers accept that the world is warming, that this warming is potentially disastrous for our grandchildren, that this change has been caused substantially by human actions, and that much of the damaging greenhouse gas generated in Ireland arises on farms.
I met EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan last Thursday in Brussels to discuss the ongoing uncertainty over Brexit and the crippling effect the chaos is having on Ireland’s farming and wider agri-food sector and the financial losses being suffered by farmers.
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said the imposition of tariffs as outlined by UK proposals in a no-deal Brexit would put Irish farmers in a “vulnerable position”, threatening the Irish beef sector and seriously damaging the country’s agri-food exports.
The results of this year’s Irish Examiner/ICMSA opinion poll may point to a farming sector punch-drunk after the toughest winter-spring weather most of them have endured, followed by an unprecedented summer drought, with Brexit approaching like a rapidly changing tropical superstorm, writes.