Fianna Fáil TD for Eamon Scanlon has called on the Agriculture Minister to set up a fodder aid scheme for farmers who are struggling to provide enough feed for their animals because they have been unable to get a second cut of silage.
Wet weather over the summer has left a lot of land in the North West completely saturated and farmers are now facing real problems in ensuring they have enough fodder for their livestock.
Deputy Scanlon explained, “This problem was completely predictable but Minister Creed has continued to ignore the calls from farmers for help and now the situation is reaching crisis levels. There are fields across Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim and north Roscommon, which are completely waterlogged. Silage remains uncut and animals are having to be housed earlier than anticipated. This combination of factors is making farming conditions extremely challenging as fodder stocks are depleting and there has been no opportunity for them to get a second cut.
“I recently asked the Minister to establish a fodder aid scheme, but despite acknowledging that “the weather conditions over the past number of weeks have been challenging” and that “this has created difficulties for farmers in parts of the country, particularly in the Western regions”, he is refusing to provide any additional support for these farmers.
“The Minister is simply not in touch with what is happening on the ground. The situation is so dire in certain areas that farmers in other parts of the country are helping out by providing fodder banks. While this is a noble undertaking, the Department should be stepping in here and helping farmers who are finding the situation particularly tough.
“I am worried that Minister Creed will continue to sit on his hands until the crisis has spiralled out of control. Farmers in the North West need help now and I am urging the Minister to reconsider his position and to establish an aid fund for the farmers who have been hardest hit”.