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Creed announces Fodder Transport Support measure

Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD, today (Wednesday) announced the introduction of a Fodder Transport Support measure to provide additional assistance to livestock farmers in the West/North-West most severely affected by the prolonged wet weather last autumn. In many of these cases the inability to conserve fodder was compounded by the need to house livestock much earlier than normal owing the very poor ground conditions.

 

Launching the measure at an ICOS event, the Minister acknowledged that a key issue to resolve was the cost of transporting fodder between those areas where it was plentiful and those where it was scarce:  ‘Fodder remains available across the country but I am conscious of the significant additional cost to farmers where fodder has to be transported over significant distance to areas where it is most needed’. The Minister added, ‘This measure builds on my early supports to farmers through prioritisation of farm payments last autumn and the additional availability of advisory support to farmers in these areas by Teagasc to facilitate fodder budgeting over the recent period’.

 

A financial contribution is being provided to offset transport costs of Hay, Silage and Straw for feeding, where this involves a distance of more than 100 km, to areas of the West and North-West most affected. Farmers, who have an identified fodder shortage, having completed a fodder budgeting exercise with their agricultural advisor, will be eligible to receive a financial contribution towards offsetting the costs of transport of fodder. Financial assistance under the Fodder Transport Support Measure is payable in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1408/2013 on de minimis aid in the agricultural production sector.

 

Minister Creed went on to stress that in addressing the challenges of last Autumn, the early issue of farm payments together with those under the Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme, injected over €1.3 billion into the Irish rural economy by the end of last year and are providing a very welcome boost for Irish farm families and will help to finance additional fodder purchase where necessary.  The Minister also acknowledged the effective contribution of the Fodder Task-Force he convened last December in ensuring a co-ordinated response to the fodder problem across all the main stakeholders including Teagasc, feed merchants, co-ops, banking and the farming bodies.

 

Concluding, Minister Creed said: ‘As fodder is traded between farms on a regular basis, it is essential that the support measure being announced today is targeted at those who most need it and does not impact on the normal functioning of the market for fodder. This is now the case and I am grateful that the co-op structure is supporting the practical implementation of this measure.’

 

 

Note for Editors

 

  1. This measure will provide a financial contribution of €8 and €12 per bale of standard fodder towards the additional cost of transporting it from the East and South of the country to the affected areas of the West and North West. Farmers will still pay the cost of the fodder in the normal way.
  2. To ensure that normal local trade in fodder is not disrupted, a minimum transport distance of 100 km will apply.
  3. In order to be eligible for support under this measure a farmer must demonstrate a significant shortfall of fodder on the holding, as verified by a recognised Agricultural Advisor and only the shortfall in fodder will be eligible to receive support under the transport measure.
  4. Full details on the operation of the measure, including application forms and Department contact details will issue shortly

 

END

Date Released: 24 January 2018