Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen has called on the Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to withdraw his proposals to increase the Stocking Density required for qualification under the Disadvantage Area Scheme 2012 in view of the recent very poor weather.
The Offaly TD said, “It is simply unfair to force Offaly farmers to take extra stock on the land, which in many cases is very wet after the exceptionally poor weather, in a year where there is a shortage of fodder.
“I am calling on the Minister Coveney to drop his proposal to increase the Stocking Density under the Disadvantage Area Scheme (DAS) and to revert to the same Stocking Density as applied last year. The European Union has not approved this proposal and simplest thing at this time would be for the Minister to withdraw it.
“Farmers across the Midlands need every support they can get at this time, particularly after the extreme weather conditions we have experienced in this region over the past number of months. I have always argued that the attempt to introduce a retrospective condition in relation to the Stocking Density under the DAS this year was a mistake from the outset. Now this mistake has been exacerbated by the very poor weather. I am appealing to Minister Coveney to apply some degree of fairness to the smaller farmers in Offaly who are facing unseasonable challenges at this time.”