Government will not provide fodder crisis funding as farmers take action themselves

Creed ‘pretty satisfied’ that there is not have a national fodder crisis

Stocking up on fodder outside the Drumshanbo Horse Fair, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Stocking up on fodder outside the Drumshanbo Horse Fair, Co Leitrim. Photo Brian Farrell
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed has said the Government would not provide funding to stave off a fodder crisis in parts of the country.

Farmers in the west and north-west are facing a potential two-month fodder deficit due to the summer rainfall that forced many to house stock much earlier than forecast.

On RTE Radio this morning, Minister Creed said he had established a task force including all the relevant stakeholders which only recently met for the first time and it has on it.

“There task is to do an assessment of the situation on the ground,” he said.

Minister Creed also said he is ‘pretty satisfied’ that there is not have a national fodder crisis.

“What we have had particularly in the North West is a particularly wet summer and autumn. We have had difficulty in getting second cut silage in that area and an earlier housing of cattle.

“The problem is compounded by the fact that in 2016 there was a prolonged winter and housing period.

The Minister said the task force would report back in the new year on what the situation is on the ground and urged farm organisations to work within that structure.

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It comes as IFA President Joe Healy has announced an emergency fodder initiative, where IFA will mobilise its national county and branch network to support those farmers in most difficulty. 

Counties have been twinned with a view to identifying farmers who are in a position to contribute feed, to be transported to areas in need.

Joe Healy said it is disappointing that the Minister has to date failed to support a meal voucher system which we strongly believe would have been the best and most efficient solution.

"We are now seeking a commitment from the Minister to fund the cost of transporting the fodder to the areas in need as part of this interim initiative”.

Joe Healy said the initiative is designed to provide fodder for those in dire need in the coming weeks to get them over Christmas and the New Year.

County Chairmen and branch officers in areas of the country not affected to the same extent with the fodder crisis will identify farmers who are prepared to provide even small amounts of feed at a reasonable agreed fixed price.

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