A Sligo TD claims some farmers are going hungry themselves to feed their stock, as difficult weather conditions since the autumn impacted fodder supplies in many parts of the country.
The scramble for fodder has resulted in keen competition for supplies, and the price of good quality fodder hit record prices in the west.
Deputy Eamon Scanlon has said over the past three weeks, he has received numerous calls from farmers in Sligo-Leitrim, north Roscommon and south Donegal who are suffering severe hardship as they try to provide fodder for their stock.
While the Agriculture Minister Michael Creed introduced a transport subsidy scheme, Deputy Scanlon says it’s of no benefit to farmers, as hay increased by €8 per bale and silage by €12.
Deputy Scanlon says it’s a health issue for many people and he’s calling for farmers to be front-loaded by €1,000 to help them to survive and to feed their families and their stock over the next month as some farmers are going hungry to feed their animals.
Minister Michael Creed says delayed turn-out of some stock is increasing the demand for fodder and accommodation.
He said it should be noted that the targeted, localised scheme to provide a subsidy for long distance transport of fodder is open and available to farmers affected by fodder shortages in the West and North West of the country.
To support those in more immediate difficulties, the Department’s emergency phone line for animal welfare issues remained open and attended at all times, the Minister said, and all requests for support were responded to.