IFA President John Bryan has appealed to all those in the wider agricultural community to keep in touch with farm families, many of whom are at breaking point because of the unrelenting fodder crisis. He said the pressure had, unfortunately, led to a number of tragedies across the country.
John Bryan said the resolve, commitment and solidarity of farm families was evident everywhere, and the support of co-ops, feed merchants, Teagasc and neighbours was helping people to cope.
Mr Bryan said IFA officers and staff were fully engaged in every country, assisting farmers who are most in need. “I have sent a delegation to the UK to work with the NFU in trying to source fodder for the co-ops to distribute.”
He said, “There may be some farmers who have fodder left, and I would appeal to them to make it available to help out neighbours in difficulty. As grass growth has commenced, those farmers who have surplus fodder can now be more confident that they themselves will not run short”.
The IFA President said he had challenged the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to implement a series of measures to assist farmers. Any farmer who has run out of feed or cash should contact the Department of Agriculture or their Teagasc adviser immediately.
He said, “This is an unprecedented crisis, and the Minister must do more now, by acting on all the measures we have put forward. These include covering the transport cost of shipping feed from the UK and the advance on direct payments for farmers who find themselves in very difficult circumstances”.
In a clear warning to retailers, John Bryan said they must immediately reflect the escalating cost pressures on farms in the price they return to primary producers. He said he would be raising this issue at this afternoon’s meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, when he will be making a presentation on the proposed Code of Conduct.