Fodder bill crisis still a huge issue as many farmers struggle to cope financially, Dáil told

Cattle are starving and farmers across west Cork face mounting fodder bills, said Deputy Jim Daly, Fine Gael, in Tuesday’s Dáil debate on the fodder crisis.

The Clonakilty-based TD said co-ops in west Cork have confirmed a massive and, in many cases, unsustainable spike in the credit being extended, to keep their cattle alive.

“Despite the recent and welcome improvement in weather conditions, this crisis will run for some time yet,” he warned.

Mr Daly said exceptional circumstances require exceptional responses, and warned that the Dáil cannot underestimate the crisis. He warned that the full extent of the fodder crisis will not become evident for some time, with credit bills mounting.

Deputy Eamonn Ó Cuív told the Dáil it costs about €7,200 to feed 60 cattle for 20 days.

North Cork TD Michael Moynihan said he has been approached by farmers who are at the end of their tether.

Co-ops were buying silage to distribute to hard-pressed farmers.

Millers providing concentrate feed had completely exhausted their credit.

South Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said farmers are attending auctions and competing with their neighbours to buy fodder.

Minister of State Sean Sherlock, on behalf of Minister Simon Coveney, who was unable to attend for the discussion, said, “I fully acknowledge the concerns that have been raised.

“We have all received visits to our constituency offices from farmers in recent weeks.

” I am aware that the Dairygold Co-op in my area is planning to import hay from the UK in order to try to alleviate the shortage. We are very conscious of the situation in which farmers, particularly those who live in more disadvantaged areas, find themselves at present.”

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