Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (77)

Fiona O'Loughlin


77. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on whether there is sufficient fodder available for winter 2019-20 in the event of a cold snap; if an analysis has been carried out on fodder stocks for same; if he will be making changes based on the 2018-19 fodder crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49009/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

In 2018, a late spring and prolonged period of dry weather during the summer resulted in a difficult grass growing season in that year with subsequent reduction in fodder conservation. For 2019, Teagasc data, using its grass growth monitoring service, 'PastureBase Ireland', has shown that grass growth throughout 2019 generally returned to normal levels. These favourable growing conditions allowed for ample quantities of fodder to be conserved. This is supported by the fact that fodder prices throughout 2019 were significantly depressed on 2018 prices, indicating adequate supplies.

Whilst it is not possible to predict the duration or severity of the coming winter and its resultant impact on fodder availability, I am satisfied that there are currently sufficent stocks of fodder available. I can assure the Deputy that I, together with my officials, will continue to engage with stakeholders and closely monitor the situation over the course of the next few months.