‘I cannot control the weather’ – Creed

Farmers across Ireland are being rendered helpless once again, in light of recent extreme weather conditions.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland show this morning, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Micheal Creed, symphatised with farmers but recognised that:

The solution to this is rain and unfortunately I am not in a position to deliver that.

“Weather is uncontrollable; the job of the Government is to put in place support systems for farmers while we wait on a break in the weather,” the minister said.

“The lines of communication must remain firmly open during this time,” Minister Creed added.

“Department stakeholder groups are in place to establish a direct line to farmers.

Fodder

“The first thing to say is that it is not a uniform issue. We have farmers who are on heavier soils with exceptionally good grass growth this year who are in stark contrast to farmers in the south-east of the country,” said the minister.

The minister acknowledges that farmers need to show a united front to avoid the prospect of another winter crippled by fodder shortages, adding that:

The critical thing is that the country makes enough fodder. There are difficulties in certain areas and not in others – and in those areas we should recognise the need to conserve fodder for those in difficulty.

“Advisory services will be key to helping farmers through this difficult time,” said Creed.

“We need to continue to monitor this and advise farmers to bring them through as best we can.”

Minister Creed urges farmers to take part in the Teagasc / Inter Agency Fodder Census, details of which were announced at the Teagasc BEEF 2018 open day in Grange, on Tuesday (June 26).

Brexit

With the current European summit winding to a close the minister vocalised his “extreme disappointment at the break of focus” and lack of “any advances on the hard border issue”.

“Government departments should be preparing for a worst possible outcome, but hoping to achieve the best possible arrangement,” said the minister.

The most important issue for us is that most of our agri-food exports reach mainland Europe through the land bridge that is the United Kingdom.

“Special arrangements must be made for the Irish trade exporters to ensure that our product is not disadvantaged by the possibility of a hard border post Brexit,” he said.