Sinn Féin local representative Conor McGuinness has said that the ongoing drought will have a serious impact on farm incomes this year and into next year, and called on the Government to put their heads together now to ensure there are adequate fodder stocks availabel for winter.
Conor McGuinness said:
“The most recent forecast from Met Éireann show that the dry spell will continue for at least another five days.
“Many farmers have resorted to using fodder intended for winter use to compensate for poor or non-existant grass growth. There are very serious concerns that if the summer remains dry it will be impossible to replenish fodder stocks.
“That this current crisis comes on the heels of a long winter is unfortunate, but whats is really disappointing is the short-termist response of Government and the unjustified cuts of up to €80 per head by factories, which seem to be exploiting the current situation.
“In the immediate term there needs to be an increase in the advance Basis Payment to 75% to ease the pressure farmers are under. In the medium to long-term Government needs to put in place a scheme to ensure adequate stocks of fodder for serious adverse weather events.
“Teagasc have set up a dedicated helpline for farmers who want to speak to an advisor regrding options for feeding stock during the drought. The numeber is 087- 7971377 and lines are open 9am-9pm each day.”