29 Apr 2013
FODDER AID SCHEME MUST BE EXTENDED BEYOND THIS WEEK AS SLOW GRASS GROWTH EXPECTED – IFAUncategorized
IFA President John Bryan said another week of slow grass growth is expected and this is increasing the stress and cost on farm families, who are coping with difficulty through this unprecedented weather crisis.
John Bryan said the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney’s fodder aid subsidy was a welcome help, but he must now commit to extending it to private merchants and co-op marts, which are importing feed to assist farmers. He said the Minister must also look at extending the closing date beyond next Friday by at least two weeks.
The IFA Executive Council will prioritise a discussion tomorrow (Tues) on further action that is needed to assist farm families through the worst fodder crisis on record. He said, “IFA has established a number of supply links from the UK, which has already sourced 5,000 tonnes of feed. This will be delivered into the country and distributed by co-ops, marts and merchants this week. Farmers are sharing what forage is left here between them, and the IFA branch network is co-ordinating this effort.”
Mr Bryan said IFA is continuing to look for additional sources of forage in the UK and has also sent a delegation to France to investigate the availability of feed supplies there, in the event of the crisis continuing well into May.
John Bryan re-iterated his call on the Minister to bring forward direct payments to help address the severe cashflow problems on farms as a result of the ten months of dreadful weather. The Minister must also ensure there is flexibility in relation to stocking rates criteria for eligibility for the Disadvantaged Areas scheme.