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Some farm inspections paused due to ‘adverse 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.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue after farming organisations had appealed for support for farmers.

Announcing the pause today, the Minister for Agriculture said farmers are under pressure as a result of the exceptional adverse weather conditions.

As a result, farm inspections by Department inspectors are to cease until 22 April, although any inspection relating to payments will go ahead to avoid farmers having payments affected at this time.

“I am extremely conscious of the pressure on farmers as a result of continuing and exceptional adverse weather conditions,” Minister McConalogue said.

“As an immediate step I have asked my department to pause farm inspections not specifically required to support payments until 22 April.

“In considering this matter I was conscious of the need to avoid any action that might affect payments to farmers. This step is a proportionate and necessary one in the current circumstances.”

Minister McConalogue described the step as necessary and proportionate at this time.

Meanwhile, farm advisory body Teagasc is to provide advice to farmers to help maximise existing fodder stocks, and to coordinate engagement of those who have extra fodder with those who are running short.

Minister McConalogue also said he has asked banks to show forbearance with farmers where cashflow issues are emerging in response to current difficulties.

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