Longford farmers brace themselves for fodder crisis

Aisling Kiernan

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Aisling Kiernan

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aislingkiernan11@gmail.com

Sean Conefrey

IFA county chairman Séan Conefrey says farmers must support each other through fodder crisis

Longford IFA has highlighted the fodder and cash flow crisis that is gripping the county.

Sean Conefrey, Longford IFA Co Chairman called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD to take immediate action to deal with what he described as “the seriousness of the fodder situation in this region”.  

“IFA have made a strong case to the Minister for an aid package including additional ANC funds for those farmers in difficulty,” he added, before pointing to the fact that cattle were in since August because of “saturated land”.

“For farmers in the worst affected areas, cattle are eating through winter fodder stocks months ahead of time.  

“Also a lot of farmers in some areas of the county were unable to get a second cut of silage.  “The incessant weather conditions have placed huge pressure on farmers, driving up their costs and depleting feedstocks.”

IFA held a Regional meeting with Teagasc in Manorhamilton last week to discuss the fodder situation and during the gathering it emerged that the worst hit areas include Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, North Roscommon, North Longford and West Cavan.

“Teagasc agreed to carry out a scientific report to establish the total fodder farmers are short,” Mr Conefrey continued.

“All their advisors in the regions are available to attend IFA branch AGMs and the Minister must get his Department to pay out the Direct Payments to farmers immediately.  

“The main issues holding up payments are inspections, dual claims and over claims and it is now a matter of urgency that these issues are resolved.”

The local IFA chief said it was important for farmers to support each other through the crisis

and to supply fodder at a reasonable price to those in difficulty.

“IFA are totally opposed to anyone escalating prices and taking advantage of the current situation,” Mr Conefrey added.

“It is also important that our Feed Mills supply a suitable ration with the necessary minerals so that farmers can maintain their animals in a healthy situation.”

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