Comment on the announcement by Minister Creed that following a consultation with Minister Murphy, he has secured flexibility on an extension to the closed period for spreading of chemical and organic fertilisers so that farmers can maximise autumn grass growth for fodder production, the President of ICMSA Pat McCormack welcomed the measure but observed that on its own it would categorically not be sufficient to address what is almost certain to be a fodder crisis this coming winter and spring 18/19 of much greater severity than that experienced earlier this year.
The ICMSA President said that the announcement must form part of a suite of measures designed to address what was already clearly a very, very concerning situation with farmers all over the state already out of fodder and having to buy feed from merchants to whom they might owe substantial sums from the spring fodder shortage. The severity of the situation could not be over-estimated, said Mr. McCormack.
Mr. McCormack said that while he agreed that the first priority was to maximise the amount of fodder that could be produced domestically, it was highly unlikely that we had the capacity within our system to produce sufficient quantities at this stage and a systematic operation to source and import fodder from overseas locations would have to be planned, aided and introduced as early as possible. The ICMSA President said that there had been crop failure and low grass production right throughout mainland Europe through the summer and it was likely that whatever sources of spare fodder were available would be much sought after. That was why, he said, it was necessary for the Irish Government to move quickly and decisively to source and facilitate importation. Mr. McCormack also noted the Minister’s references to the Fodder Coordination Group and the ICMSA President repeated his association’s request that the meat industry be asked to attend and contribute to the workings of that group as they were a significant stakeholder in the sector and their absence from the FCG was both curious and disappointing.
Ends 12 August 2018
Pat McCormack, 087-7608958
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office