Fodder measures of 2018: How much have applicants been paid so far?

Government spending on measures implemented last year to ease fodder restrictions has been released by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Responding to a parliamentary question on the matter put in by Fianna Fail spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Minister Creed confirmed that the Fodder Transport Support Measure and the Fodder Production Incentive Measure, introduced for tillage farmers last year, have paid out €186,532 and €826,809 respectively, so far.

In a statement from the minister, he said that the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine had acted in response to ongoing pressures on fodder on foot of weather conditions, by introducing a series of four fodder support measures during 2018.

These included: the Fodder Import Support Measure; the Fodder Import Support Measure Autumn 2018; the Fodder Transport Support Measure; and the Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers 2018.

The Fodder Import Support Measure and the Fodder Import Support Measure Autumn 2018 were designed to facilitate the importation of fodder by approved co-ops and hauliers and paid a contribution at a set rate towards the cost of transportation.

A total of 27 co-ops applied under the Fodder Import Support Measure – of which some 20 were due for payment having actually imported fodder in compliance with the set criteria.

According to Minister Creed, the total amount payable to the co-ops is €991,697.

Some 18 co-ops and hauliers have applied under the Fodder Import Support Autumn 2018.

“In order to optimise the use of the funds available and to ensure funds were available to importers, interim payments totalling €457,610.65 were made to six importers during December 2018,” the minister added.

Remaining payments under this measure will be paid further to the submission of relevant documentation by the remaining importers, Minister Creed said.

Fodder Transport Support Measure

Under the first scheme to be announced last January, over half of the applicants who entered submissions under the scheme were deemed to be ineligible, according to the department.

Of the 609 applicants, only 297 were approved, leaving some 312 deemed ineligible from 14 counties, most significantly in Co. Cork, where some 166 farmers and hauliers were not approved – over half of the total figure.

The north of the country received the most support, with farmers from counties Donegal and Cavan collectively receiving payments of €47,352 and €30,971 respectively.

Under the Fodder Transport Measure, some €186,532 has been paid out to applicant farmers so far.

Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers 2018

The Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers provides an incentive of €155/ha for tillage growers who grow a temporary crop of short-rotation grasses for fodder production over the winter months and €100/ha for those growing catch crops such as fodder rape, turnips etc.

Some €2.75 million was allocated by the Department of Agriculture for the Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers 2018.

The first tranche of payments issued in December 2018 to applicants with catch crops.

A total of 848 applicants received just over €826,000. Payments to those with grasses cannot commence until after February 1, the minister added.

Somewhat predictably, the “sunny south-east” has seen the highest amount paid out to participant farmers so far – though in many cases around half of those who have applied have been paid thus far.

Co. Wexford has seen the highest amount of money paid out under the scheme to date, with participant farmers from this county receiving €208,409; in a distant second, Carlow farmers have so far received €106,859 under the measure.

Rounding off the top three for money paid out, Co. Cork saw just under half its 244 farmers receive payment under the initiative, totalling some €101,947.