• The Agriculture Minister needs to introduce a meal voucher scheme for farmers in the West and Northwest who are suffering due to the fodder shortage.

    That’s according to Sligo-Leitrim TD Eamon Scanlon who claims some farmers are going hungry themselves to ensure they can feed their stock.

    He believes the Fodder Transport subsidy announced earlier this year by Minister Michael Creed is not benefitting the majority of farmers impacted by the fodder shortage, whereas a meal voucher scheme would help farmers buy feed to supplement what fodder supplies they still have.

    Deputy Eamon Scanlon told Midwest News that he received a number of calls from farmers across the region in recent weeks who are suffering severe hardship as they try to provide fodder for their stock

  • The Irish Farmers' Association is calling on the Government to introduce a fodder import scheme in response to the drought conditions.

    Urgent action is needed in order to give co-ops and merchants the best chance of sourcing fodder from other countries.

    According to the IFA President, Joe Healy, there is likely to be competition for fodder as the heatwave has affected farmers across the continent.

    He says decisive action is needed by the Government.

  • Minister Michael Creed appeared before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriclture, Food and the Marine yesterday, to brief the Committee on the fodder crisis.

    The meeting was requested by Mayo Fine Gael Senator Michelle Mulherin last week, during the parliamentary recess, in order to address the issue.

    Minister Creed confirmed that he will be meeting with the main banks in order to ensure that farmers can access credit during this time and also confirmed that the €1.5m limit on the fodder support scheme would be raised, should it be necessary to continue the support.

    Members of the committee also raised the issue of inspections and the added pressure that they could bring at this time. It was suggested that a case be made for inspections to be waived under the fodder shortage is resolved. Flexibility in relation to credit was also cited as vital and meal vouchers were another subject raised as an option for farmers who fields are still too water-logged for grass to grow and who cannot put their animals out to grass yet.

    The Committee members welcomed the assistance measures announced by the Minister, which include extending the closing dates for various schemes and greater operational flexibility for road hauliers engaged in the transport of fodder.

  • Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Michael Creed announced today that he has extended the duration of both the Fodder Import and Fodder Transport support measures for an additional week. These measures which were scheduled to conclude on Monday April 30th will now run until Monday 7th May.

    The Minister said ''While the weather has improved and grass growth continues to improve significantly, there are farmers in some parts of the country who still need to locate fodder for their animals. Having reviewed the situation and listened to the views of members of the representative fodder group I established in March, I have decided that extending the closing date for the two measures for one further week is appropriate”.

    Demand for fodder has reduced significantly. However, there remain some areas where land is not yet sufficiently dry to graze livestock and there is still a short term demand for fodder.

    Concluding, Minister reaffirmed that ‘these measures are effectively addressing issues around fodder availability”.

    The Minister reminded farmers that the animal welfare emergency assistance continues to operate where animal welfare is seriously at risk via the emergency helpline numbers – Call Save  0761 064408 or phone 01 6072379.


  • The Minister for Agriculture needs to pay the outstanding GLAS, ANC, and Sheep payments from 2017, if farmers struggling to buy fodder are to pay for it.

    That’s the view of Mulranny based Independent Councillor Michael Holmes.

    The Councillor told Midwest News today that while the Minister’s import subsidy for fodder transport costs is welcome, it’s not enough.

    He says he is aware of many farmers in this region that are still owed monies from last year’s schemes.

  • A National Fodder Helpline has been set up by Teagasc to help farmers through the current fodder crisis.

    It says they can phone or text 087 7971377 to speak to a Teagasc person for assistance over the weekend.

    It says silage supplies must be stretched over the next three weeks, and normal daily silage feeding can be reduced in half by limiting the silage offered.

    Fodder Clinics have been held in most of Teagasc's 50 offices around the country over the last few days.


    The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) are to hold a protest to highlight the need for a fodder aid scheme that will deliver for farmers who are experiencing fodder shortages.

    Gerry Loftus of the INHFA outlined how the Minister has ignored the principal recommendation of the stakeholders committee which was for a meal voucher.

    While Mr. Loftus said the transport subsidy “was also recommended”, he said its restrictive nature has ensured it will “not deliver for most farmers”.

    The INHFA decision which was taken by its national council, will involve a protest at the Department of Agriculture Offices in Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim on Monday morning at 10.30am.

  • A Fine Gael Cllr has described the current fodder transport subsidy scheme as a cocktail of bureaucracy.

    Roscommon Fine Gael Cllr Liam Callaghan says while the scheme is very welcome, many farmers are disappointed with the amount of paperwork and third party involvement.

    He says at present the farmer has to have a farm advisor visit his farm to carry out an assessment, an application is then made to the Department of Agriculture, who in turn notify the local co-op, the co-op then source the fodder on behalf of the farmer. The farmer pays the co-op for the fodder and transport and the Department then reimburses the farmer for the cost of the transport.

    Cllr Callaghan says this system could be simplified and farmers should be allowed to source their own fodder, which would speed the entire process up.