Thomas Pringle TD

Question: How much will Donegal farmers get for the Fodder Transport Support measure?

farm tractor


For Oral Answer on : 13/02/2018

Question Number(s): 56 Question Reference(s): 7134/18

Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine






To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the timeframe and costs of the fodder transport scheme for farmers in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.




Weather conditions for much of last autumn were challenging for farmers in some parts of the West and North West in particular. Difficulties in harvesting fodder in some of these areas were compounded by the need to house livestock earlier than usual, resulting in additional pressure on fodder supplies over the course of the winter.


To immediately address this issue I prioritised the payment of farm supports to assist farmers with cash flow. The European Commission agreed to his request, informed in part by the poor weather conditions of last autumn, for an advance payment of the 2017 Basic Payment Measure and Agri-environment measures. These payments commenced after the earliest date possible which was 15th October 2017, and balancing payments issued in early December 2017. These payments together with those issued under the Areas of Natural Constraints Measure, injected over €1.4 billion into the Irish rural economy by the end of last year and are providing a very welcome boost for Irish farm families and will help to finance additional fodder purchase where necessary.


At this time I also requested Teagasc, through its farm advisory service, to identify farmers who would be most at risk of running out of fodder and provide them with support to carry out fodder budgeting on their farms and explore all viable options to ensure that they had sufficient feed for the coming winter.


In order to provide additional assistance to those livestock farmers severely affected by ongoing fodder shortages, mainly in parts of the West and North West, I introduced a targeted Fodder Transport Support measure, operated through the Co-operative structure, to partly offset the cost of transporting fodder between those areas where it is available and those where it is scarce. This measure applies only to fodder purchased in the period from January 29th 2018 until April 20th 2018


While the areas identified by Teagasc as being the most affected are predominantly located in parts of the West and North-West, the measure is not county specific within the region. As with all measures, certain criteria apply. Farmers, in a locality within the region, identified by Teagasc as having a significant fodder shortage, having completed a fodder budgeting exercise with their FAS agricultural advisor, will be eligible to receive a financial contribution towards the costs of transport of fodder, sourced through the Co-operative system. Only the shortfall in fodder will be eligible to receive support under the measure.


Teagasc assessments of whether there are significant forage shortages in specific areas is ongoing. It is important to emphasise that this is a targeted and locally focused measure, centering on areas of fodder scarcity that normal local trading in fodder cannot service.


This measure will provide a financial contribution of €8 per standard bale of hay or straw for feeding and €12 per standard bale of silage or haylage towards the additional cost of transporting the fodder from the East and South of the country to the affected areas of the West and North West. Farmers will still pay the cost of the fodder in the normal way. To ensure that normal local trade in fodder is not disrupted, a minimum transport distance of 100 km will apply.


Financial assistance under the Fodder Transport Support Measure is payable in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1408/2013 on de minimis aid in the agricultural production sector. No applications for support under this measure were received up to last Friday the 9th February. Processing and verification of applications for support will be carried out in a timely fashion.


Full details on the operation of the measure, including application forms and Department contact details are available on my Department’s website.



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