IFA President Joe Healy has insisted Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed pull together an emergency response to tackle the fodder and income crisis on farms due to the unprecedented weather conditions this spring.
Mr. Healy said that the extreme weather conditions are causing havoc and untold stress at farm level, “The situation is close to a national emergency on farms, and we need an emergency response. The Minster has to call together all the stakeholders involved as a matter of urgency.”
“The weather over the Easter weekend has left farmers reeling at a time when they really needed a period of good weather to get things moving,” he said.
“Poor grass growth because of cold weather and wet conditions in fields due to huge rainfall has meant that farmers who are already under pressure for fodder have had to keep their animals indoors at a time when they should be out on grass.” he said.
“We’re now into April and with the terrible conditions over the weekend, the situation is at crisis point in almost all parts of the country,” he said.
“Minister Creed told the Dail last week that fodder was a matter for each individual farmer and that he was monitoring the situation. That response is simply not good enough,” he said.
Joe Healy said, “We cannot rely on the weather picking up to solve the problem. We need to stop the megaphone diplomacy and sit down now to have constructive engagement to see what can be done”.
The IFA President said while there is no magic bullet to solve the current problem, farmers need to see leadership from the Minister, who has to bring everyone together to come up with coherent and practical action that can help farmers at this time.