100 flooded farmers availed of emergency fodder services

The Government agreed yesterday to provide up to €2 million for a fodder scheme to assist farmers who suffered flooding losses.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said support will be based on replacement cost of damaged silage, hay, straw and concentrates, where there is evidence of flooding damage not covered by insurance.

Application forms for the scheme will be available on the agriculture.gov.ie website, at the Department’s local offices, or Teagasc offices, from today, and must be submitted before Friday, January 22.

Minister Coveney confirmed that almost 300 tonnes of concentrate have already gone to over 100 farmers, through an emergency welfare scheme.

Minister of State and Government Chief Whip Paul Kehoe has confirmed that the Government’s allocation of €5m to emergency humanitarian support for small businesses does not apply to farmers.

He said farmers in flooded areas can contact the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine animal welfare helpline at Callsave 076-1064408 or 01-6072379, or Teagasc at 076-1113555.

He said, “I have no doubt that the farming organisations, whether the IFA, ICMSA, ICSA or others, will be involved in ensuring there are no feed shortages.

"One has to applaud the IFA.

"In 2009, it stepped up to the mark and helped out all farmers on an individual basis by getting fodder from other parts of the country and bringing it to flood-risk areas.”

IFA officers have encouraged farmers who have suffered losses to make contact with them, or with Teagasc, or their local Department of Agriculture office.

Teagasc has been working with farming organisation and co-ops in compiling a nationwide list of the worst affected farms, allocating advisers to visit them, and maintaining a register of farmers willing to supply fodder.

Teagasc experts have warned that machinery can be badly damaged by continuously driving through water, because seals and bearings are not designed for these conditions, and modern machinery contains electronics which are easily damaged by water.

The Department of Agriculture has issued guidelines which allow for movement of animals where there are welfare concerns, and allowed flexibilities to facilitate removal of water from flooded slurry tanks.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney advised, “It is important to be extra vigilant when accessing flooded lands as there are hidden dangers.”

People have also been advised to beware of contamination of floodwaters, and to avoid riverbanks.


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