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Fodder register and support lines established for farmers


As rainfall continues to soak much of the country and keeps grassland and tillage fields unusable for the moment, farm advisory service Teagasc has opened telephone advice lines for farmers struggling with the ongoing wet weather and also a fodder register to help deal with any shortages.

The fodder register will be operated in each Teagasc region. Farmers with extra fodder can register with their local office as can farmers who need to get extra feed on their farms.

The register is being set up on foot of a request from the Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue to the farm advisory service in recent days. According to Dr Stan Lalor, Teagasc Director of Knowledge Transfer, fodder shortages are not widespread but do exist in some areas.

“Despite the persisting wet weather across the country, fodder continues to be available nationally but some farms are short due to regional variation in rainfall levels, and the difficulty in getting livestock out to grass.

“The fodder register will help connect farmers locally to allow neighbouring farmers to support each other. The register is open to all farmers.”

The new telephone helplines will operate six days a week from 9am until 9pm and will offer farmers advice on managing through the current difficult period.

The grassland helpline number is 059 9183155 and the crop helpline number is 059 9183533. Farmers can also leave messages if they cannot get through and will get a call back.

These developments come ahead of a meeting of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee taking place tomorrow at 11am. The meeting which will be attended by farm leaders, Department of Agriculture officials and officials from relevant bodies will discuss the latest situation relating to animal feed on farms.

Meanwhile financial institutions have been offering support to farmers to help get them through this period where they are facing increased expense from ongoing housing of animals or lack of cashflow.

Both Bank of Ireland and the AIB are encouraging famers with financial concerns to engage with them over finance options available while dealing with the ongoing wet weather.

Non-essential farm inspections by Department of Agriculture staff are to be paused for a number of weeks as farmers struggle with adverse weather conditions.

Minister McConalogue made the announcement last week after farming organisations appealed for support for farmers.


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