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Coveney Announces New €1 Million Scheme to Reduce the Price of Imported Fodder to Farmers

In light of the difficulties experienced by farmers in sourcing fodder supplies, the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney T.D., has today announced that he has allocated €1 million for an imported fodder transport scheme. This scheme is being introduced by the Government to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage) from outside the island of Ireland. The scheme will operate through the Dairy co-operatives (milk purchasers). It will cover forage imported by the co-ops from 15th April 2013 to 3rd May 2013 and will be subject to EU State Aid rules.  This will substantially cover the cost of transport into the country and will reduce the cost to farmers of a bale of hay by approximately one third.

 While the scheme will operate through the Dairy co-operatives (milk purchasers), the actual beneficiaries will be farmers and primary producers who need urgent supplies of feed. Application forms and terms and conditions will be made available through the co-ops in the coming days.  The Co-ops have confirmed that they will facilitate farmers who need help in sourcing urgent fodder supplies, whether or not they are existing customers or suppliers.

The Minister paid particular tribute to the farm organisations and their individual members who have been working around the clock making local arrangements.

 Minister Coveney and his Department have been in on-going contact with the dairy co-operatives on this issue.  He said “I recognise that there is a serious fodder shortage in certain parts of the country and I acknowledge the role that the co-ops have played and continue to play. Operating this new scheme through the co-ops is the quickest and most effective way of getting the fodder to those who need it.  The key issue here is a fodder shortage and my action today is designed to address the shortfall. “

Farmers who are urgently looking for forage should contact their local co-op and maintain close contact with their agricultural advisor. 

Apart from this new scheme, the Department will continue to operate its Early Warning System whereby emergency assistance may be provided to farmers whose animals are experiencing serious welfare issues and where the farmer him/herself is unable to cope.

The Minister will meet tomorrow with the representatives of the banks and CEOs of the co-ops to discuss the fodder situation further.

Note for Editors

How do farmers apply?

Contact your local dairy co-op and tell them how much you need.

 How will payment be made?                   

The Dept will pay the co-op a contribution towards the cost of transport which in turn will be reflected in the ultimate price to the farmer.

Date Released: 24 April 2013