SOUTH Kerry Councillor, Michael Cahill, is calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to introduce an emergency scheme to assist the thousands of hard pressed farmers who are experiencing exceptional feed shortage.
The independent councillor says there is now a very real crisis facing the farming community with many farmers set to go out of business.
The Killorglin councillor said that, historically, farmers housed animals for an average of four months but this has now been doubled due to exceptional weather conditions. Cllr Cahill said many farmers are broke due to rising costs of feed and fertiliser, while at the same time prices for cattle and sheep continue to fall.
Some suppliers have extended credit to some farmers who simply do not have the money to pay for feed and fertiliser, he said.
However, that happens on an ad hoc basis and cannot be regarded as a reliable way of rescuing farm families from financial disaster.
In a notice of motion due to be debated at next week's meeting of Kerry County Council, Cllr Cahill will argue that the minister and the government have to intervene immediately and assist the farming community at this critical time.
Kerry Independent TD Tom Fleming is also due to raise the matter in the Dail with Minister Coveney, he said.