Fianna Fáil Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue says the Government is walking us into another fodder crisis because it is failing to take action to respond to the issue. He is calling on Minister Michael Creed to establish a fund for affected farmers.
Deputy McConalogue, along with seven Fianna Fáil colleagues, tabled a special topical debate in the Dáil, to emphasise the urgency of the issue.
“As a result of another wet summer this year, many farmers have left many farmers facing a chronic fodder shortage. The wet weather has left many fields waterlogged and farmers have been unable to harvest a second cut of silage. Animals have had to be housed earlier than usual, using up fodder that would traditionally have been used for the winter months”, explained Deputy McConalogue.
“The situation that farmers are dealing with now, is almost the exact same as was experienced in 2012 when the then Government was forced into action. The Minister’s refusal to acknowledge the reality on the ground is a clear indictment of just how out of touch this Government is with small farmers and rural Ireland.
“The situation is particularly bad in the North West and West, but fodder shortages have now spread to the border counties, Midlands and Mid-West. Farmers in other parts of the country recognise the pressure their counterparts are under and are helping out by providing fodder banks. While this is appreciated, it is the job of Government to provide a scheme to assist these farmers.
“Minister Creed cannot continue to ignore this problem – I am calling on him to have his Department, assisted by Teagasc, to carry out a survey to establish what farmers are worst affected and in need of immediate assistance and to establish an aid fund to help them through the winter months”.