Updated: 28/09/16 : 05:59:10
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New ‘fodder relief scheme’ needed for northwest says TD

Tony McLoughlin TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed T.D. to establish a new ‘fodder relief scheme’ to assist affected cattle and sheep farmers in the Northwest of Ireland.

Many farmers have been unable to grow the required amount of fodder they need to feed their stock, due to waterlogged land caused by large amounts of rainfall in the region since May.

“We are in a very difficult situation on the ground here in the northwest” stated McLoughlin. “I have met with both the Sligo IFA chairman JP Cowley and the Leitrim IFA chairman James Gallagher, together with other IFA representatives from both County Sligo and Leitrim twice this week, to listen to their concerns about this issue, both in Sligo and in Dublin”.

“There are serious concerns with regard to this particular issue in the farming community and I believe that a new ‘fodder relief scheme’ if established by the Department, would be a preventative measure which would ensure that when this crisis worsens in December and January, that the required funding will be in palace to support these farmers. Action now could save a crisis at a later date”.

"I am aware that there was a similar scheme launched by the Department in 1985, and I have asked the Minister to meet with the public representatives in the Sligo – Leitrim Constituency, the IFA delegation and myself to attempt to tackle this issue.

There are many damaging effects on cattle farmers if they lose their breeding stock as this stock is not easily replaced. If this occurs it ultimately has a knock on affect down the chain for suppliers and also on the local community. On this bases, I am calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed to urgently examine the possibility of establishing a ‘Fodder Relief Fund’ for farmers in the Northwest, concluded McLoughlin.