Lack of fodder not serious, says Smith

A SERIOUS livestock fodder shortage is not anticipated by Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith, who told the Dáil last week that much of the deficit was made good during the prolonged fine spell in September and October.

Up to then, fodder supplies were reduced by heavy spring and summer rainfall, and at least one-third of the farmers responding to a Teagasc survey said they had inadequate fodder to meet their needs.

Mr Smith said while supplies were still tight on some farms after October, a serious shortage should not arise.

“Some farmers are also taking advantage of the good value that exists in the case of concentrate feedstuffs to stretch fodder supplies,” he said. “Notwithstanding this general situation, it is acknowledged that the recent serious flooding may have caused damage to fodder supplies and may give rise to a resulting feed shortage problem on some livestock farms.

“In response, I am introducing a fodder aid scheme to provide some financial support towards the purchase of alternative feed material to replace the fodder damaged by the floods. The amount being provided for the scheme is €2 million.”

He was responding to a Dáil question from Deputy Richard Bruton.


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