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Fodder Progress Update Statement

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, T.D., today referred to the developments over recent weeks in tackling the current fodder shortage.

The Minister noted that the Fodder Transport Subsidy Scheme had played an important role in contributing to the efforts of recent weeks, with the transport costs of sizable quantities of fodder being significantly offset by his Department’s contribution. ‘I am encouraged to see that by the end of the week approx 2,000 loads of imported fodder have benefited from my Department’s contribution to the transport costs, this amounts to in excess of 30,000 tonnes of fodder” Minister said, adding “while the Scheme itself will end next Friday, 24 May, I have decided, as an exceptional measure, that any definite purchases that have been placed by that date, but which will be delivered during the following week, will be included under the Scheme’. The Minister explained that those wishing to avail of this option would have to submit documentary and financial evidence to his Department, by close of business this coming Friday, 24 May, of firm purchases having been made. Where the Department is satisfied with the documentation submitted, it will grant approval to cover that fodder under the Scheme provided it is delivered during the following week. As with all fodder included under this Scheme, only fodder sold to individual farmers is eligible for the transport subsidy.

While there has been some improvement in the overall weather position in the East and South of the country, there was considerable rain in the West and North-West over the weekend.  However, the forecast for the next week or so is more positive and we expect drier conditions and higher temperatures over the next few days.

‘However, we are now approaching the end of May and it is important that while continuing to focus on the emergency fodder situation in the short term, we also focus on growing and conserving fodder for next winter’s needs’ the Minister added. It is important that we take every step to maximise production in the coming months and the Minister has asked Teagasc to prioritise this in their advisory campaigns over the summer months.

It is vital that fertiliser is applied to maximise production and the Minister welcomed the move by some Co-ops earlier this month to offer interest free terms for a period to encourage fertiliser usage. The Minister also outlined that one tonne of Nitrogen will grow the equivalent of 60 round bales of silage and this is an important message.

‘It is clear that the main cut of silage will be delayed this year and as a consequence we need to look at the potential for the growing of additional fodder later into the season.  In this regard I have also raised a number of specific issues within the Nitrates regulations with my colleague Minister Hogan, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government with a view to ensuring we maximise the opportunity for fodder production this year ’.  

 

Date Released: 20 May 2013