'Every day that my cows kept indoors is costing around €100'
For Cork dairy farmer Dan Bourke fodder deliveries from the UK simply couldn't have been timed better.
"I ran out of fodder yesterday so I suppose it's very good timing," he said last week as imported fodder started to land in Ireland.
Dan travelled to the Dairygold Co-op SuperStore outlet in Millstreet for the first delivery of UK-sourced fodder under the Government's €1.5m feed support scheme.
A Nolan Transport articulated lorry began unloading giant fodder bales from 11am - and farmers desperate for feed for their hungry animals quickly formed a queue of tractors, jeeps and trailers to haul away their two bale limit.
The entire operation was watched, in heavy rain, by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed and Dairygold boss Jim Woulfe.
Dan's son, Brandon (9), also watched as their bales were eagerly loaded for transport back to their Kilcorney farm just outside Millstreet.
"It has been a very tough winter," Dan said.
"The problem is that the animals went in so early. They have been in since around November. Usually you'd hope to have them well out on grass by now."