IFA warns of ‘disaster’ over farm flooding

The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has warned of a 'disaster' for farmers due to flooding.

Representatives from the IFA are attending the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht to discuss impact of flooding on farmers.

It says the problems and difficulties encountered by farmers due to flooding will take centre stage.

Cathaoirleach of the Committee is Michael McCarthy.

"Over the past number of years, a number of areas in the country have experienced extreme and increasingly frequent weather events, particularly flooding" he said.

"This has been particularly disastrous for farmers with hundreds of acres of farmland submerged or badly flooded following constant heavy rain in the past year".

'Tens of millions in damage'

"Tens of millions of euros of damage has been caused to farmland around the country. Silage and hay crops were lost to floods last summer and yields were reduced, leaving farmers without winter fodder. In some cases, it was impossible to put animals out on farmland or use machinery on the land leading to some farmers facing crippling losses" he added.

The Committee has already met with the Irish Insurance Federation to discuss the difficulties obtaining home insurance in areas which have experienced extreme weather, such as flooding.

Michael Silke is charman of the IFA Food and Water Management Team.