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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Fodder from France due tomorrow for stricken Irish farmers

The fodder crisis has seen the IFA set up a fund so that it can transport huge amounts of fodder to farmers so that they can feed their animals.

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Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

STRICKEN FARMERS WILL soon be able to buy fodder that the IFA is having shipped in from France.

A spokesperson from the IFA told TheJournal.ie that the first consignment is scheduled to sail from France to Ireland tomorrow (Wednesday) evening. It will arrive on Thursday.

“It is quite unusual,  if not unprecedented that we have to bring fodder into the country,” said the spokesperson. “The problems that we have at the moment you can trace back to last summer and the very poor summer we had.”

Issues

There are around 3,000 tonnes of fodder due to arrive for Irish farmers, who have been experiencing issues with fodder due to the unseasonably cold winter.

The scheme  – which involves a fund of around €1.3million – sees the IFA covering all transport costs for the fodder, so that farmers can purchase the animal feed without incurring that extra cost.

It is expected that the majority of the fodder from France will be sent to the West of Ireland, as it is experiencing the worst problems at the moment, and did not benefit from recent good weather seen in other parts of the country.

Areas such as Clare, Sligo and Donegal are still under some pressure, said the spokesperson, as they haven’t seen grass growth yet.

The high quality hay is being sourced from France following work by merchants to find fodder for the farmers, who have battling with hungry animals that have not been able to graze in recent weeks.

“It has been a huge effort by everyone involved,” said the spokesperson, “identifying where it is and identifying who needs it and getting it to those people. Thankfully we have seen an improvement in weather and some grass growth but there are still those areas which are under pressure.

We will continue to get feed in there until they need it.

Although there have been improvements in some areas, it is expected the issues will continue for the coming weeks.

The knock-on effects of this for farmers could be substantial, given that they are having to spend money on feed that they wouldn’t normally expect to spend.

Due to this cashflow pressure, the IFA has been speaking to banks, co ops and merchants about the issues farmers may experience and the fact there could be delays paying bills.

Read: Farmers’ health and safety group “could save lives”>

Read: €250,000 fodder fund set up for farmers in crisis>

Read: Coveney extends fodder scheme: ‘No animals should die of starvation’>

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