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Dublin: 15°C Wednesday 29 June 2022

€1.5m allocated to support fodder imports in effort to ease feed crisis

The first loads of feed arrived at Irish ports this morning.

The crisis worsened over the Easter weekend.
The crisis worsened over the Easter weekend.
Image: Getty Images

Updated at 10pm

AGRICULTURE MINISTER MICHAEL Creed has announced the allocation of €1.5 million to support the importation of fodder.

The announcement came after the minister faced mounting pressure from farming organisations and political parties to take steps to solve the fodder crisis.

“In light of poor weather conditions and an evolving fodder supply challenge across the country, I am immediately introducing a support measure contributing to the cost of importing fodder from abroad,”  he said.

I welcome the moves to import fodder by the co-operatives and this measures supports this initiative. The co-operative ethos remains very strong and vibrant in Irish Agriculture.

Over 2,500 tonnes of animal feed is arriving in Ireland as farmers struggle to deal with the country’s fodder crisis.

The imported fodder is coming into Rosslare to be delivered to the Dairygold co-op which says it will distribute it to farmers across the Munster catchment region.

The shortage of feed being experienced across the country has occurred due to a number of factors including a long winter, a cold and wet spring and a number of severe weather events.

The fodder that arrives today for Dairygold is haylage and hay and is being sourced from the UK.

Before this delivery, Dairygold says it has been working with members over the last 10 days to source fodder from locations around Ireland.

Dairygold Chairman John O’Gorman says there have been various warnings about this crisis but that it worsened significantly over the Easter weekend.

The heavy rain across the country over the Easter weekend compounded an already bad situation on the ground for dairy farmers following one of the worst winters on record. Instead of having animals out at grass our members are still dealing with housed animals and all the feeding requirements that involves.

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“We have no doubt that this imported fodder is essential. Unfortunately, ground temperatures and grass growth remain well below normal for this time of year so at this point in time it’s difficult to know when dairy farmers will be in a position to return to grazing.”

Dairygold has said that it will provide the imported fodder to its members at the cost price it was sourced at in the UK.

The co-op earlier called on the Department of Agriculture to initiate its haulage support programme to assist with the distribution of the imported fodder.

With reporting by Céimin Burke

Read: Government announces plans to import fodder … but criticism of the shortages rumbles on >

Read: ‘Close to a national emergency’ – Farmers hit by bad Easter weather call for help >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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