IFA President John Bryan has called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to extend the fodder subsidy for at least another two weeks, and review the situation again when Teagasc completes the fodder census in June.
Mr Bryan said the fodder crisis was far from over and with the continuing bad weather and poor ground conditions, it was becoming a grass crisis which, he highlighted would, “lead to a fodder difficulty into next winter”.
“The Minister’s decision to guillotine the transport subsidy scheme last Friday was wrong and failed to recognise the severe problems that still exist in many parts of the country, and particularly in the west and border counties,” Mr Bryan fumed. “Following a meeting of all the main stakeholders this week in Portlaoise, there was a loud and clear call from everybody that Minister Coveney and the Government must put in place a far more effective response to help farmers cope with, and recover from, this unprecedented fodder crisis.”
A recent Teagasc assessment of the shortfall in next winter’s fodder supply of up to 30% highlighted the severity of the situation, and the challenge facing farmers. “Teagasc needs to be proactive and ensure fertiliser usage is getting to all farmers on the ground,” Mr Bryan concluded.