The Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today announced that he has allocated €4.25 million to a new Fodder Import Support measure. The Minister made the announcement having secured the agreement of the Minister for Finance & Public, Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe T.D.
‘In light of the recent severe drought conditions and their impact on an already difficult fodder situation, I am introducing a support measure contributing to the cost of importing fodder from abroad. This additional commitment to securing adequate fodder supplies builds on a range of supports already put in place” the Minister said.
This measure is being introduced to reduce the cost to farmers of imported forage (hay, silage, haylage, alfalfa etc.) from outside the island of Ireland. The measure will operate through the Co-operatives/registered importers and will cover forage imported from 12th August 2018 to 31st December 2018 and will be subject to EU State Aid (de-minimis) rules.
The Minister stressed that while the measure will operate through the Co-operatives/registered importers, the actual beneficiaries will be farmers who need supplies of fodder.
Minister Creed added that, “As was the case in the earlier Fodder Import measure of last spring, participation will be straightforward for the farmer who contacts a participating Co-op/registered importer and purchases fodder. My Department will subsequently reimburse the Co-op/ importer with a contribution towards the cost of transport.
Application forms and terms and conditions are made available through the Co-ops/registered importers shortly and will also be available on the Department’s website at https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/fodderimportsupportmeasureautumn2018/
The Minister concluded by saying that “the measure I am announcing today will provide a valuable extra source of fodder, complementing the range of initiatives I have already introduced this summer focused on maximising the production of fodder from our own land resources. I will continue to monitor the fodder situation closely and work with all stakeholders until we have successfully addressed the issues around fodder availability.”
How do farmers apply?
Farmers should contact their local participating Co-op/registered importer indicating their intention to purchase, and volume of fodder requested. Farmers pay the Co-op/registered importer for the purchase of the fodder.
How will payment be made?
The Department will pay the participating Co-op/registered importer a standard contribution towards the cost of transport.
Which are the participating Co-ops/registered importers?
A full list of participants will be made available on the Department’s website.
Support measures already put in place include securing advance payments of EU aid under Pillar 1 and 2, resulting in €260 million in additional cash flow; additional flexibilities to certain GLAS measures to increase fodder production; the allocation of €2.75 million to a Fodder Production Incentive measure for tillage farmers and an extension to the period for spreading chemical and organic fertilisers to allow farmers avail of late season grass growth.