Humans of Longford examines the escalating fodder crisis

News Reporter

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Michael Hegarty

Michael Hegarty

Humans of Longford spoke to Michael Hegarty from Ballymahon yesterday as he collected fodder in Longford town delivered by Lakeland Dairies.

Humans of Longford is curated by Tiernan Dolan.   

" I'm farming near Ballymahon ......but just now I'm here at Lakelands on the Strokestown Rd., collecting badly needed fodder....there's an awful lot of farmers in Co Longford who are short of silage or any fodder for their cattle......


....this load was imported from England, I believe......this morning two huge lorry loads arrived here....you can see yourself now....it's nearly all gone, already.....there was a huge demand for it.....and there's still a line of tractors and trailers waiting their turn.....


....oh, this load is extremely important to me......for a good while now....I've been rationing and buying extra nuts......it's the longest winter I can ever remember....sure it's been raining since last August you could say....the old farmers talk about the Big Snow of '47....I think this'll be called The Long Winter......


...you see, no one knows how long this winter will last...a week more...a month ?.....


.....it's a very stressful time....really stressful...financially it's a huge extra cost....there's a terrible social cost too....psychological.....it's very worrying.....


....I suppose most farmers work alone now.....and when you're in the middle of a crisis, you'd don't realise there's others in the same position.....


....no farmer wants to see his animals go hungry....they're close to their animals.....you don't want to see them suffering....yea, it's stressful 'cos you don't know where the next feed is coming from....


...the neighbours have already helped as much as humanly possible.....now....there's nothing left....so the future is very uncertain.....that's a horrible way to live...horrible....


...the land is fierce wet too....there's no sign of growth.....animals that were let out early had to be brought back in.......


...earlier on we got help from Wexford and Carlow....they helped the Leitrim farmers too....but now Wexford and Carlow have run out....it's not a great situation, is it ?......


...look, I have to go....but actually, before I go.... could I say a BIG THANKS to Lakelands and all their staff and all the local suppliers and all the people who are helping me and the others......


....only for them....we wouldn't be fit to keep going....


...good luck...bye....."