IFA expects ‘strong response’ from Minister on fodder crisis

IFA President Joe Healy says the deepening fodder problems will have to be addressed by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed.

Yesterday, the IFA Executive Council agreed that urgent action is needed to assist farmers in affected areas, mainly in the north-west and west of the country.

Joe Healy says farmers expect a strong response from the Minister and the Government.

He revealed a meeting had been scheduled for December 1st, but Minister Creed has indicated he could not attend on that date due to a prior engagement.

Mr Healy has now written to the Minister asking him when he would be available, as it is crucial that he hears directly from the farmers affected.

Mr Healy recalled how he visited Leitrim last weekend with Minister of State for Agriculture Andrew Doyle to see the conditions for myself.

He says it’s clear that many farmers are unable to get a second cut of silage and have had to house their animals earlier, using up fodder they need for the winter.

The IFA has also met with Teagasc and a survey is underway to identify those farmers who are likely to have a problem this winter.

Meanwhile, Aurivo is currently holding information meetings on the fodder situation.

At the meetings, a representative from Mental Health Ireland will also discuss how the pressure of such shortages can impact on farmers’ well-being.

Representatives from financial institutions will also be on hand to offer advice on managing additional expenses this winter.

The events are taking place tonight, November 15 in the Sligo Park Hotel at 8:00pm; and on November 23: in the Bush Hotel, in Carrick-on-Shannon, also at 8pm.