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Saturday 22 September 2018

'A fodder shortage on your farm does not mean you're a bad farmer'

Fodder arrives in Dowra from Tipperary. Gerry McMorrow loads fodder from Tipperary onto a farmers trailer after it arrived in McMorrow Timber Yard, Dowra, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Fodder arrives in Dowra from Tipperary. Gerry McMorrow loads fodder from Tipperary onto a farmers trailer after it arrived in McMorrow Timber Yard, Dowra, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell

Eoghan MacConnell

Farmers should not be ashamed if they have a fodder issue, it does not mean they are a bad farmer, vet tells fodder crisis meeting.

Veterinary Surgeon John Quinn urged farmers at a recent IFA fodder crisis meeting in Leitrim to “talk to somebody about a problem.

“There is loads of help out there and you shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed that you haven’t enough fodder. I haven’t enough this year I am not ashamed to tell you.

"Talk to somebody about it. There are lots of  ways of getting around it,” he stated. Mr Quinn reminded farmers that “there is a crisis out there and don’t be afraid to talk about it."

Teagasc is contacting farmers in North West next week to help those who might have a shortage in fodder and the measure is being taken amid fears of animal welfare issues due to the ongoing shortage of fodder in the North West.

Teagasc Regional Manager Billy Wilkenson said “we are advertising in 10 local papers next week for farmers if they have a problem to come forward. 

"I feel probably there would be people out there who actually haven’t made it known for whatever reason." He said it is "important as well that people step forward and look for help. I think that is really, really important." 

Speaking at the IFA fodder crisis meeting in Berrys Tavern in Dromshanbo, Mr Wilkenson said Teagasc has also issued text messages and letters to its clients in the region and offered to carry out farm visits or help with fodder budgets where needed. 

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“We have an ad in 10 papers across the region next week saying if you have feed problems, contact your Teagasc advisor, contact your private consultant, contact your nutritionist and get to talk to them and see can they help you in your situation," Mr Wilkenson added.  

IFA Regional Development Officer Adrian Leddy said “the last thing we want is an animal welfare issue" and he urged farmers to look out for their neighbours.

“I am asking... that in your local branches, make sure that you identify anybody, it might be more than the animals is the problem if you get my meaning,” he said.

“That type of a person needs help, they can either come to yourselves or you identify him and come to us and see can we do something for him.” Mr Leddy said “we have been working with the local Department of Agriculture here very closely."

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