Farm Ireland

Monday 19 February 2018

Farmers in west face feed crisis

IFA President Joe Healy Picture: Frank McGrath
IFA President Joe Healy Picture: Frank McGrath

One in two farmers in Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal are facing a fodder crisis this winter as poor weather wreaks havoc on harvest 2016, a Teagasc survey has found.

The IFA says the survey on weather conditions reinforces calls for an aid package and flexibility on slurry spreading.

Joe Healy, IFA President, is calling on Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to set up a fodder scheme, a crisis fund for tillage growers and flexibility on slurry spreading as part of the five-point plan to assist farmers affected by the wet weather.

Over 370 farms from Donegal to Cork are affected, with 4,500 hectares of crops still to be harvested.

The report states that yields of crops remaining to be harvested will be reduced by one to two tonnes.

The Teagasc report says that many farmers had to house cattle and dairy cows and feed silage and meals in August and September due to poor field conditions.

Half of livestock farmers in Donegal and 20pc of farmers in Mayo have stock housed. Silage cutting was also seriously delayed on most farms and the area cut seriously reduced on others.

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