IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey said the continuing bad weather into the Spring has compounded a fodder crisis on farms in Offaly and around the country, after the worst summer on record in 2012.
He commented, “at this point, there is huge pressure on many farm families to secure fodder and maintain the necessary levels of cashflow to run their business and pay their bills.”
Eddie Downey called on co-ops, feed mills and banks to stand by their farmer customers and do everything to ensure adequate feed and cashflow is provided during this very difficult period.
“Farmers should stock of what winter fodder they have, and if they have surplus, they should make it available now to those who are in short supply.
“The weather will take up and grass growth will come. Commodity prices in dairy, beef and lamb are looking strong for the year and farmers will pay their bills when they are in a position to do so. In the meantime, the wider agri-business has a role to play in supporting farm businesses through what is a very busy time of the year on farms,” he added.
Mr Downey, who heads up the IFA Project Team on fodder, said he has been in contact with Teagasc and IFA officers around the country on the matter.
He urged farmers who are under pressure to contact their Teagasc adviser, their local IFA officer or a neighbour to discuss their difficulties.
“There is assistance available to farmers who need help, and nobody should be afraid to seek out support.”