'I am down to my very last bale of silage': Farmer says Fodder Import Scheme has come too late
A farmer down to his last bale of silage says worries about the welfare of his animals are always at the back of his mind.
Suckler farmer Hugh Farrell, from Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, said the move to introduce a Fodder Import Scheme was "too late for many farmers".
“We’re in a severe crisis. The cattle have to be fed. They’re my livelihood but they’re not just a number to me. Worries about their welfare are always at the back of my mind,” said the farmer who tends to a Charolais and Limousin Cross suckler herd.
While the farmer said the Government’s move to introduce a Fodder Import Scheme last week is “too late for many farmers ”, he said everyone in the Cavan area was hopeful that the weather would improve.
“We can point the finger all we like but we all lived in hope that the weather would improve. We had a bad winter and terrible March but now we’re in April and we’re still in the same situation,” he said.
“Many farmers have been in trouble in this area since last August. I’ve never seen bad weather continue as long as it has in recent months.”
Meanwhile, Gerald McTiernan (71), who is a suckler farmer in Dromahair, Co Leitrim has had no bales since August and has been sourcing bales from neighbours and through an IFA-led fodder support scheme. He said the current fodder crisis would discourage any young person to get in to farming.
“Young farmers won’t enter farming or stay in farming if these type of situations continue. We feel let down here and upset in Leitrim. My animals have been in since last August,” he said.