Credit Union reports huge jump in loan applications

There was a massive 89% increase in the total value of farm loan applications between 2020 and 2021, according to a recent Credit Union analysis.

Cultivate, the collaborative credit union finance lending platform for farmers, released analysis of their 2021 loan applications which showed that, year-on-year, the credit union recorded a 66% increase in the number of loan applications received.

With stronger prices being received by farmers across all of the main agricultural sectors in 2021, farmers looked to secure short-to-medium term finance to complete on-farm developments. In comparison to 2020, there was an 89% increase in the total value of loan applications. When adjusted for new credit unions joining Cultivate, the like-for-like comparison reflects a very positive 77% increase in loan application value.

Meanwhile, the average loan application from farmers in all sectors was up 14% year-on-year to €28,370 and this was mainly used for a number of key on-farm activities including, farm buildings (24%), stocking and working capital (23%) and tractor purchases (18%). This was also the first year that farm buildings have featured as the most popular use for Cultivate loans highlighting farmers’ confidence in completing longer term investments.

Loan terms also increased marginally from 69 months to just under 71 months (+2%) which would be prudent as the average loan value also increased.

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Kerry’s Eye

Lack of incentives hampers organic beef production

There is very little prospect of widespread adoption of organic processes in the production of beef while the processors continue to press prices downward, the chairman of the ICSA Organics Committee, Fergal Byrne said as he addressed the matter last week.

He was prompted to make the statement after the prices being offered at the factories for conventional stock went higher than what was on offer for cattle produced organically.

Taking the higher costs involved in rearing animals through organic means into account, this situation is entirely unsustainable for farming in his manner, he said.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that it is more expensive to produce organic beef due to lower volume of farm output and farmers need to have confidence, when they go to sell their produce, that this will be taken into consideration. There is absolutely no incentive for farmers to go to the extra expense of producing organically when those producing conventionally are getting paid more,” he explained.

Read the full story in tomorrow’s Kerry’s Eye