The Irish Farmers’ Association has warned that cuts to the Common Agricultural Policy would be disastrous for Irish farmers.

President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy has proposed a cut of over €74bn in the overall EU budget, a move opposed by the Government.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, IFA President John Bryan said the cuts would result in a loss of €1bn in EU transfers to Ireland.

He also warned the cuts could have a negative knock-on effect on production decisions.

EU leaders will meet on Thursday to discuss the issue and Mr Bryan said Taoiseach Enda Kenny's priority must be to maintain the overall budget at existing levels.

He said arguing over the distribution of funds in the future is premature and like talking about cutting a cake before it was ever cooked.

Fianna Fáil Agriculture spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív said the IFA had helped design a programme of distributing funds that would see smaller farmers suffer.

Quarter of potato crop still in the ground

Wet weather has meant that a large portion of the potato crop is yet to be harvested, according to the IFA.

The association estimates that a quarter, or 5,000 acres worth, of the national potato crop is still in the ground.

If farmers are unable to harvest that crop in the coming weeks it could result in a €20m loss to the sector, it said.

The last of the autumn harvest is normally being undertaken at this time of year and if there is significant ground frost in the weeks ahead remaining crops could be lost.