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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Farmers who need to buy 8-10t of fertiliser are going to have to pay €3,000-€4,000 more’

Independent TD, Danny Healy-Rae, has warned that increased fertiliser prices will “hurt” not only farmers but consumers also.

On Tuesday, January 25th, 2022, he told the Dáil that food prices will increase even further for Irish consumers.

He pointed to a new report released in recent days, which suggests that households may have to spend up to €780 more on groceries this year.

He said that year’s hike has not come at all yet from farmers because if they have to pay more to produce milk, beef and grain, the cost is “going to have to be placed across the board”.

“The people that are buying will have to pay for this,” he told the Dáil.

Increased fertiliser prices 

“Farmers are being hit every day. The small farmer that is down in Kerry that wants to retain a bit of land, he is hit with every type of an obstruction to stop him at doing that.”

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“Then, all their farms are not arable, and they need to grow grass in the small patches they have. They need nitrogen, and they need fertiliser.”

Making reference to fertiliser prices, the deputy said: “Just to give you an example, urea that was €330 this time last year, is now costing €930/tonne and nitrogen that was €220/tonne is almost €700/tonne.”

“So instead of thinking it has just doubled, it has tripled in price,” he argued.

Anti-dumping levies

He accused Russia and Europe of playing politics and said that farmers are “suffering” as a result.

He referenced an anti-dumping levy, adding that countries outside of Europe cannot supply fertiliser to Ireland without paying an extra charge.

“It is something like €40 or €50 extra a tonne. I am asking the Government what have they done about this?”

“We were told first that fertiliser would be scarce, but there are boatloads of it there. They are holding and hoarding it because they can keep up the price of it on the pretence that they can’t get gas from Russia and one thing or another.”

“Small farmers who need to buy 8 or 10 tonnes of fertiliser to barely keep their farms ticking over they are going to have to pay €3,000-€4,000 more for that amount of fertiliser.”

“I am talking about the small farmers because they are going to be hurt and hit the most.”

“The big farmers and I sympathise with them too because they have everything done right, and they have an awful lot of money spent, but it’s really going to hit the small farmer in Kerry.”

“Everything seems to hit our rural areas of Kerry, West Cork and those places. Every rule that has been brought is to hurt those farmers,” he concluded.

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