Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (246)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

246. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the continuation of the fodder transport scheme to mid-May will be ensured (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20695/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In response to pressures on fodder supplies caused by a long wet winter and spring I introduced a national Fodder Transport Support measure in January of this year, followed in April by a Fodder Import Support measure. These two interventions working together effectively addressed issues around fodder availability in the country. Grass growth, as confirmed by Teagasc assessments, has continued to improve significantly and livestock are out to graze. However, ground conditions were slow to improve in some areas and in a concluding response to remaining fodder difficulties I decided to extend both measures by one week until 7th May. There are no plans to extend the closing date further.

It is important that we learn some of the lessons from this spring and build resilience into our systems going forward. I have asked Teagasc to chair a stakeholder group to coordinate advisory messages to farmers this summer around replenishing stocks that have been used up.