The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is currently examining a scheme to facilitate the long-distance movement of fodder.

As the wet weather persists, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has asked his officials to work on a scheme similar to 2018 which brought fodder to farmers in need.

It is understood that a new scheme, which will be rolled out by the department if needed, could also involve co-ops around the country.


The minister said that he is “acutely aware of the pressure farmers are under right now”.

“I have already mobilised Teagasc to provide advice and assistance through its local services, and I know that co-ops will also be doing everything they can to support their suppliers.

“I have also asked my department to explore the operationalising of a scheme to support long distance fodder movements on the island of Ireland, along the lines of that which operated in 2018, should that prove necessary.

“I am working with stakeholders through the National Fodder and food Security Committee (NFFSC), who will assess the most up to date situation at their next meeting this coming Tuesday (April 9) .

“This meeting will also receive an updated position from Teagasc on the situation around the country,” he said.

The NFFSC will convene again at 11:00a.m next Tuesday to discuss the solutions currently being implemented across the country to help farmers in a fodder shortage.

Met Éireann have also been invited to provide an update on the weather outlook for the days ahead.

The meeting will highlight the range of supports and assistance that are available to farmers that are experiencing difficulties.


Earlier this week, Minister McConalogue announced a pause to all non-essential agricultural inspections until April 22 due to the current weather conditions.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has confirmed that it has rescheduled the start of a farm safety inspection campaign that it announced this week.

The minister has also said that he has spoken to banks to ask them to ensure access to short term finance and overdraft facilities where needed, to deal with the pressure arising from the current “exceptional weather conditions”.

As well as that, the minister said that he has tasked Teagasc with the “coordination of support to farmers under fodder pressure”.

Financial supports

Meanwhile, Independent Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has written to Minister McConalogue asking the government to seek emergency funding for Irish farmers from the European Union.

“It is time that the minister for agriculture and the government act on behalf of all farmers who are suffering immensely because of the continuous incessant rain.

“Many farmers are suffering cash flow problems and can’t afford to buy bales of silage which are costing up to €60 a bale,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

The TD said that the EU funding would help farmers who are struggling mentally “to continue”.

Former minister for agriculture Barry Cowen has also called for emergency supports for farmers.

The Fianna Fáil candidate in the Midlands North West European constituency said that DAFM should fast-track any outstanding scheme payments and financial institutions should show leniency to farmers in these trying times.

Deputy Cowen said that a new funding provision needs to be brought forward to help farmers tackle prolonged periods of adverse and unpredictable weather amid worsening ground conditions.

“We’re well aware that climate change is making conditions for farming more challenging, which presents a severe threat to food security.

“We need to enact emergency and longer term sustained funding model,” he said.

Deputy Cowen said that he has contacted the ministers for agriculture, finance and public expenditure to ask for this emergency funding to be made available to farmers and food producers urgently.