Details of Fodder Import Support Measure confirmed

The details of the Fodder Import Support Measure announced yesterday by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, have been confirmed today.

A total of €1.5 million was allocated towards the introduction of the measure – which aims to to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage, etc) from outside the island of Ireland.

Today, the department published the terms and conditions of the measure – as well as the relevant forms – on its website.

The measure is open to all co-ops and importers of fodder to take part and not just dairy co-ops.

Also Read: Creed announces €1.5 million allocation for fodder support measure

Based on the depletion of forage stocks nationally, participating co-operatives or fodder importers will source forage from other EU member states – not including Northern Ireland – and import it into this country, according to the department.

The department will then make a financial contribution to participating co-ops and importers – who must first gain approval to be eligible to take part in the measure – towards the transport costs in the period from April 5, 2018, to April 30, 2018.

Terms and Conditions

Under the measure, eligible forage is defined as bales of hay, haylage, silage, alfalfa and any other types of forage deemed acceptable to the department.

For an 8X4X4 bale of the forage listed above, the transport support per bale will equate to €60, according to the department. The transport support contribution on other standard bale sizes of eligible forage will be calculated pro rata, it added.

In the event of eligible applications in excess of the total budget available for the measure being received, the department will implement reduced payments as appropriate.

A list of participating co-ops and importers is expected to be published in due course.

As part of this measure, the farmer shall pay the participating co-op or importer for the forage – excluding the transport cost contribution made by the department – in full.

At the time of purchase, the farmer and the participating co-op or importer must complete a ‘Sale Declaration Form’ outlining the details of the purchase. This form must be signed by both parties and certified by the co-op or importer at the time of purchase.

The co-op or importer is then required to retain the declaration form as the basis for their claim for payment to the department. This form must be made available to the department as part of the verification checks to be carried out.

All farmers who receive forage under this measure will be subject to EU State Aid (de-minimis) rules.

The approved participating co-op or importer must collate all the farmer declaration details and submit the relevant information in one single electronic submission. This submission must include:
  • Name and herd number of each farmer;
  • Date of sale of forage to farmer;
  • The number, size and type of bales that each farmer bought from the participating co-op or importer.

A single payment will be made to the approved participating co-op or importer. Applications will be subject to verification – including co-op or importer inspections and on-farm inspections where necessary – by the department.