Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Animal Feedstuffs

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

188. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the way in which enough fodder for winter 2022 can be ensured; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16964/22]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I met with the main farm organisations and Teagasc on 8th March to discuss the impact of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on Irish agriculture and supply chains.

At that meeting I established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee and to prepare an industry response to the emerging crisis in feed, fodder, fertiliser and other inputs, and to develop contingency plans and advice to assist farmers in managing their farm enterprises.

Following the first meeting of this Committee, Teagasc has issued advice to farmers on how to manage their farms during the current grass growing season with a view to securing sufficient fodder for next winter. The advice includes applying sufficient fertiliser on grassland and crops, on the basis of a fodder budget for winter 2022, ensuring that sufficient fodder is conserved.

I acknowledge that fertiliser has reached record price levels. However, in conjunction with good grassland management, sensible use of fertilisers represents the best way of securing fodder for next winter. In addition, the price of grain has risen in line with fertiliser prices so relying entirely on imported meal is not a reliable alternative to securing home grown fodder.

I announced a Targeted Intervention Package on 22ndMarch framed around three pillars to support Irish farming families arising both from events in Ukraine and wider global price volatility. The total package is projected to cost in the region of €12.2 million.The package seeks to incentivise the planting of additional tillage crops for this coming planting season through the Tillage Incentive Scheme and introduces supports to encourage farmers to grow protein crops in 2022.

Supporting domestic production of tillage and protein crops will reduce Ireland’s reliance on imported feed materials. Finally the package includes a Multi-Species Sward Scheme that includes support for red clover, to promote environmentally sustainable methods of farming, and thereby greatly reduce nitrogen fertiliser, while maintaining forage yields.

The financial supports outlined will assist farmers in offsetting the significant increases in farm inputs experienced by farmers presently and in assisting to ensure sufficient fodder for winter 2022.

I am committed to helping and assisting our farm families and their families through this challenging period.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.