Creed to establish action group as 90% of farmers in the north-west are face serious fodder shortages

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

FarmIreland Team

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed is to establish a a special Fodder Action Group following pressure from farming organisations.

Following a meeting between the IFA and Minister Creed, the Minister has set up the group to assess the situation and to determine what response is required.

The Group will include the Department of Agriculture, Teagasc, the co-ops, the marts and IFA.

The Minister said he would set up the Fodder Action Group with immediate effect. The first meeting will be held in Sligo next Monday.

Joe Healy said the deepening fodder problems will have to be addressed with measures to help those farmers who urgently need support to avert a crisis. 

The IFA delegation led by the President included Regional Chairmen and the Chairmen from the five Connacht counties, and Donegal and Longford.

The worst affected areas are mainly in the north-west and west of the country. The difficult weather conditions since August have left many farmers facing a severe fodder crisis during the winter and spring months.

Over 90pc of farmers in the north-west are facing serious fodder shortages this winter, with stock owners generally having 35pc less feed than they will need for their herds.

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These are the stark findings of a Teagasc fodder survey which involved more than 90 farmers from Leitrim and Sligo.

It comes as the farm organisations again demanded action from the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed this week to support farmers hit by the fodder crisis.

While the survey found that a small number of farmers had sufficient feed to see them through the winter, there were also exceptional cases where farmers had already used all their fodder stocks, Tom Coll of Teagasc explained.

However, he said most farmers were faced with feed shortages of around one-third of their normal winter requirements.

The Teagasc survey confirms the extent of the difficulties facing farmers in the west and north-west.

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