IFA President Joe Healy said the deepening fodder problems will have to be addressed by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.
Today’s Executive Council meeting agreed that urgent action is needed to assist farmers in affected areas, mainly in the north-west and west of the country. The difficult weather conditions since August have left many farmers facing a severe fodder crisis during the winter and spring months.
Joe Healy said farmers under extreme pressure because of the challenges facing them expect a strong response from the Minister and the Government. “A meeting had been scheduled for December 1st, but Minister Creed has indicated he could not attend on that date due to a prior engagement. I have now written to the Minister and asked him when he would be available, as it is crucial that he hears directly from the farmers affected.” he said.
“I visited Leitrim last weekend with Minister of State for Agriculture Andrew Doyle to see the conditions for myself. It is clear that many farmers were unable to get a second cut of silage and have had to house their animals earlier, using up fodder they need for the winter. We have to address this now rather than waiting until the New Year,” he said.
IFA has also met with Teagasc and a survey is underway to identify those farmers who are likely to have a problem this winter. Discussions have also taken place with local co-ops and merchants to provide a feed mix for those farmers.