Collective industry approach needed to mitigate fodder challenges – Creed

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed has given an update on the fodder situation, following a meeting today with the Fodder Coordination Group and the release of the fodder census results.

The meeting today (Thursday, July 19) is the third occasion the group has met since the start of the current dry spell.

The minister started by commending the ongoing efforts of the group and its work to mitigate the effects of the current dry period on grazing and fodder supplies.

Continuing, Minister Creed said: “Practical advice being shared across the group on dealing both with the current weather and also on filling the fodder gap that has now been identified is critical to our managing this challenge.

“In light of potential shortfalls in fodder identified in the first fodder survey, the overall priority must be to conserve as much feed for the coming winter when the opportunity to do so arises and to take advantage of growth when it resumes after the current drought.”

The minister reiterated, given the challenge, the absolute need for a collective approach – urging everyone to support and participate actively in efforts targeted to mitigate the impacts of the extended dry conditions nationwide.

In this regard, he emphasised the positive role for industry and banking representatives on the fodder group.

Minister Creed welcomed the initiatives taken to date which include: the availability of an advisory helpline for farmers, with direct access to Teagasc advisors on: 087-7971377; the provision of coordinated advice by co-ops and compounders; the availability of additional concentrate feed for farmers; and the provision of dedicated credit lines by the pillar banks and a number of co-ops.

Acknowledging the ongoing concerns of the farming community, Minister Creed continued: “As I have indicated previously, it is not only Ireland but also other EU member states that are affected by this dry spell.

I have requested that the commission ensures the earliest approval of advance direct support payments this autumn in order to support farmers with this prolonged challenging period.

Concluding, he said: “I have asked that the work of the group continues into the autumn period and to provide ongoing guidance and assistance to impacted farmers.

“I will be actively monitoring this situation through engagement both with the group and its members.”