Minister must explain how fodder crisis will be addressed

Farmers facing bleak winter as shortage hits

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers has called on the Agriculture Minister to outline what measures he intends to introduce to compensate farmers affected by the fodder crisis.

Farmers in the North West and West are facing real problems following a particularly wet summer, with many fearing they have not enough fodder to see them through the winter months.

Deputy Chambers explained, “I have been contacted by a large number of farmers who are seriously concerned that they will run out of fodder over the next number of weeks and despite calls from farming organisations and members of my own party, Minister Michael Creed has continued to refuse to establish a compensation fund for farmers affected by the crisis.

“This summer’s wet weather has left a lot of land across the Western part of the country completely saturated, and famers have had to house their livestock a lot earlier than would be the norm. There have also been problems with silage cutting as many farmers have been unable to get their second cut in. This combination of factors is making farming conditions extremely challenging as fodder stocks are depleting and there is no additional silage to replace it.

“A recent Teagasc survey revealed that as many as 70% of farmers believed that they would suffer a fodder shortage before the end of the year. In some instances the situation is so grave that farmers in other parts of the country are helping out by providing fodder banks.

“Minister Creed’s reluctance to intervene is simply not acceptable. Farmers’ livelihoods are at risk and there are serious animal welfare concerns that need to be addressed. I am calling on Minister Creed to outline how he intends to deal with this very serious situation. Continuing to ignore it is simply not an option”.