Wednesday 25 April 2018

Rules relaxed for hauliers making emergency deliveries to farms

Martin Sexton (left), from Lakeland Agri, with farmer Gerard Reilly as fodder was delivered to his farm in Virginia, Co Cavan
Martin Sexton (left), from Lakeland Agri, with farmer Gerard Reilly as fodder was delivered to his farm in Virginia, Co Cavan
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

Road safety bosses will take a "pragmatic" approach to lorry drivers' hours as they deliver fodder to stricken farmers.

It comes as more co-ops throughout the country are expecting shipments of fodder to arrive from the UK and Spain over the weekend.

The Road Safety Authority said it would take a "pragmatic" approach but deviation from driving and resting rules must be a last resort.

"Driver safety and other road user's safety must not be compromised," it warned.

Meanwhile, Bishop John Buckley in the Diocese of Cork and Ross called for prayers at Mass for farming families.

"Due to lack of feed, animals are suffering great stress during this difficult winter and late spring. I am calling on Government to monitor this crisis situation closely," he said.

"Many farmers have approached me asking for prayers. I am asking all Masses in the dioceses to offer prayers this weekend for the farming community and for an end to the wet and unseasonably cold weather.

"Over the past few weeks I have witnessed great hardship in the farming community."

Farmers are waiting on further supplies as Kerry Group confirmed it was importing 2,000 bales of hay from the UK this weekend, LacPatrick Dairies has secured 4,000 tonnes of maize silage, while Glanbia has arranged for the importation of 1,000 tonnes of alfalfa from Spain. Glanbia will also make a support payment of €50 a tonne for all feed bought by co-op members during April.

In Tipperary, Arrabawn said a "very small number of suppliers" had looked for support and would be importing bales of hay as a contingency.

Lakeland Dairies has sourced forage and fodder reserves at home and has also established a number of immediate fodder channels from the UK.

Irish Independent

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