Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has hit out at the Agriculture Minister, accusing him of being out of touch with farmers’ needs following his refusal to allow them to begin cutting grass a week early, ahead of the Traditional Hay Meadows (THMs) date of 1st July.
Deputy Smyth explained, “This spell of hot weather has the potential to cause serious problems for farmers, but it also presents an opportunity for them to save hay and replenish fodder stocks, which were vastly depleted as a result of the winter fodder crisis.
“Fianna Fáil’s Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue called on Minister Michael Creed to bring forward the grass cutting date for Traditional Hay Meadows (THMs) for farmers in the GLAS Scheme by a few days. However, once again, the Minister ignored this practical request, in keeping with his form of ignoring situations until they become full blown crises.
“Just as he refused to acknowledge the impending fodder crisis, which resulted in the country having to import fodder from abroad, Minister Creed is now refusing to give farmers some flexibility to make full use of the current good weather.
“We need to prepare to ensure that we do not have another fodder crisis later this year, and the good weather that we’re experiencing at the moment provides farmers with an opportunity to save hay and replenish stocks.
“Any movement on this would be welcomed by farmers – every additional day counts – and I am calling on Minister Creed to listen to the suggestion being put forward by Fianna Fáil and farming organisations and to act”.