March 25, 2024
Minister must outline response to farmers facing worsening fodder shortage – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Claire Kerrane TD, has called on Minister McConalogue to outline his response to farmers facing a worsening fodder shortage situation.
 
It is likely that challenging weather conditions are likely to continue according to Met Éireann, and organisations have highlighted that the fodder shortage is continuing to worsen for many family farmers.
 
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
 
“While there have been warnings about a possible fodder shortage over the past few months, it seems that the situation has now set in for many farmers.
 
“Early housing of animals in the Autumn has resulted in farmers coming to the end of their own fodder stocks and now facing higher prices for buying silage in to bridge the gap.
 
“In addition, continued bad weather looks likely to delay turnout further, which potentially places many family farmers under additional financial pressure as a result of the cost of keeping animals housed.
 
“I know many farmers are facing difficulties due to poor weather conditions, which have also delayed planting and sowing, as well as the turning out of livestock.
 
“Yet, in a response to a Parliamentary Question I submitted last week, the Minister stated that he currently does not intend to introduce supports to assist farmers with buying fodder but that his Department will continue to monitor the situation.
 
“Organisations such as the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) have said that assistance is needed – they have called for a support scheme and deferral of farm inspections in recognition of the challenging weather conditions farmers continue to face.
 
“I had called on Minister McConalogue to outline his response to a possible fodder shortage back in January. Now this has become a reality, it is important that he make clear what actions he is considering in response to farmers experiencing difficulties as result of this fodder shortage and prolonged weather conditions.
 
“Many family farmers are already under financial pressure as a result of increased input costs, and an additional round of costs only adds to that pressure.
 
“I am calling on the Minister to outline his response to the worsening fodder shortage, and expect him to do so sooner rather than later.”

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