IFA Connacht Chairman Pat Murphy said farmers want the OPW to manage the water levels on the River Shannon by dropping the water levels, while ensuring that it doesn’t cause problems further downstream.
A delegation from IFA visited some of the Shannon Callows this week where there is a large amount of hay and silage to be harvested. There has been no opportunity to cut the crops since July 1st due to very wet weather conditions.
“The crops on the Shannon Callows make up a substantial portion of winter fodder and are extremely important for farmers. July is a key month for farmers in the Callows. To avoid substantial crop losses over the coming days and weeks, farmers need the Minister to take immediate control of the situation and ensure the water levels are managed appropriately to reduce the risk of flooding. This will allow farmers to save their valuable crops,” he said.
In the longer term, an agency must be established which would include local farmers to manage the overall Shannon project to rectify the problems and maintain it thereafter. This must be established without delay and cannot be put on the long finger.