More than 45% of the money allocated in the 2013 Imported Fodder Transport Scheme has been spent in Co Cork.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has released data based on the location of the co-ops, marts and other approved agencies through which the scheme operated.
Of the €2,392,035 paid out to date, €1,089,628 was in Co Cork. The other main locations were Cavan (€267,758); Sligo (€182,641); Kilkenny (€180,065); Kerry (€153,485); and Tipperary (€110,406). No 2013 fodder transport scheme spending occurred in Laois, Longford, Louth, Waterford, or Wexford. Total expenditure is expected to be about €2.8 million.
Mr Coveney said the actual beneficiaries are 18,000 individual farmers and other primary producers who needed urgent supplies of feed.
The scheme was designed to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage) from outside the island of Ireland. The aid substantially covered the cost of transport into the country, thus reducing the cost to farmers of a bale of hay by about one third.
¦ Mr Coveney said this week there will be 2014 fodder challenges on some farms due to recent very wet weather and fertiliser application delays, particularly where early grazing is normally practiced.
He advised far mers to ensure remaining forage stocks are carefully managed.
He anticipated fodder reserves should be sufficient within Ireland, subject to normal turn-out of stock, but added, “I would urge all farm-ers to carry out a fodder budget now and speak to their advisor if concerned about remaining stocks”.
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