12 August 2018
By Elaine Murphy
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine today (Sunday) officially opened the Tullamore Show and FBD National Livestock Show.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister Creed said;
“I am honoured to officially open this prestigious show which is the largest one day event in the annual shows calendar. Agricultural shows, such as Tullamore, are important events in the farming year contributing culturally, socially and economically to rural communities. I would like to acknowledge the work done by all in organising this event”.
The Minister also made reference to the current period of dry weather and the impact on grass growing conditions,
“While some respite has been provided in the form of a return to a more normal growing season recently, the situation remains challenging in many parts of the country for farmers attempting to conserve fodder to make up any shortfalls. The over riding priority is to maximise fodder production from all available land. This is the most cost-effective approach and of greatest benefit to most farmers”
Minister Creed added;
“Following consultation with my colleague the Minister for Planning, Housing and Local Government Eoghan Murphy T.D. I can announce flexibility on an extension to the closed period for spreading of chemical and organic fertilisers, in order to capitalise on autumn grass growth for fodder production”.
Minister Creed concluded;
“I and my Department have been engaged in a series of initiatives and I believe that these measures taken together and targeted at producing as much fodder as possible from our own land provide the most effective response to a fodder shortfall. Imports of fodder will have a role to play in the range of options available. My Department will assist in this regard and further details will be announced in due course. However, the immediate priority is to maximise fodder production at home and I believe the Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers and GLAS flexibilities will contribute positively in this regard. I will continue to closely monitor the effectiveness of these measures in the coming weeks in closing the fodder gap”.
The Fodder Coordination Group will continue to meet until the current shortfall is addressed.
Notes to editors re actions to date
• Minister Creed has met with Commissioner Hogan and followed this up with a submission to the EU Commission seeking certain flexibilities in the GLAS scheme which can assist in replenishing fodder stocks in advance of the winter period.
• The Minister secured agreement from the Commissioner to make higher advance payments this autumn. As a result, advances for Pillar 1 and 2 payments will be increased to70% and 85% respectively, resulting in €260 million in additional cash flow for farmers at a vital time of the year.
• Minister Creed has introduced a €2.75 million Fodder Production Incentive measure for tillage farmers to encourage them to actively engage in the fodder market and maximise additional short-term fodder production – terms and conditions are available on the Departments website http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/fodderproductionincentivemeasurefortillagefarmers2018/
• Following engagement with the Minister for Planning, Housing and Local Government Eoghan Murphy TD, the Minister announced once off flexibility on an extension to the closed period for spreading of chemical and organic fertilisers, in order to capitalise on autumn grass growth for fodder production
• In addition to these specific measures Minister Creed convened a fodder coordination group to provide support and advice to farmers on maximising fodder production. Industry membership of the group responded with a range of supports to facilitate farmers, while Teagasc continues to provide direct advice through a dedicated help line and series of farmer meetings.