No plans to reintroduce a national fodder transport subsidy

There are no plans to reintroduce a national fodder transport subsidy, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has confirmed.

The minister made his intentions clear in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fail TD Bobby Aylward.

Details of the previous Fodder Transport Support Measure were revealed by the department in January of this year. The scheme drew to a close on May 7, 2018.

Commenting on the matter, Minister Creed said: “I am confident that the range of measures introduced by me to date, taken together and targeted at producing as much fodder as possible from our own land, provide the most effective response to a fodder shortfall and ensure adequate supplies ahead of the coming winter.

I have no plans to introduce a national fodder transport subsidy. However, I can assure you that I will continue to closely monitor and engage on this significant challenge during the coming period.

The minister also stated he has no plans to introduce a subsidy for a high-fibre concentrate feed.

Supports

He explained that fodder surveys conducted by Teagasc identified deficits in national fodder stocks of 18% in June and 12% in September.

Due to these results, the minister stated that his “overall priority” was to support the conservation of as much fodder for the coming winter as possible when the opportunity to do so arose and to supplement this with necessary imports as required.

“On August 3, I announced a €2.75 million Fodder Production Incentive for Tillage Farmers to encourage tillage growers to actively engage in the fodder market and there has been positive engagement with this measure.

“This additional funding generated significant additional forage area currently under catch crops.

On August 22, I announced a €4.25 million Fodder Import Support Measure for autumn 2018. The measure seeks to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage, that is: hay; silage; haylage; alfalfa; and others from outside the island of Ireland.

“While the measure will operate through the co-operatives and registered importers, the actual beneficiaries will be farmers who need supplies of fodder,” he said.

Concluding, the minister noted that he also secured permission to pay higher advance payments this autumn.

“As a result, advances for Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 payments will be increased to 70% and 85% respectively – resulting in €260 million in additional cash flow for farmers at a vital time of the year,” he said.