Concern is being expressed that farmers are facing into a ‘third winter’ in the space of a year as fodder supplies remain critically low.
A wet start to the year, followed by heavy snow in spring and compounded by a hot summer of drought conditions has left many struggling to make ends meet.
Clare FM’s Derrick Lynch reports:
Months of far-from-ideal weather has led to a situation on farmers which some say is even worse than the fodder crisis of 2013.
The long hot summer followed a winter which was so bad that, as in 2013, grass at Shannon Airport had to be cut by farmers in order to feed animals.
Now, if the bad weather continues, there are fears of the impact this could have on the mental health of farmers.
Cratloe-based General Secretary of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers Association Eddie Punch,
Mart figures for July show that compared with the same month last year, some 14% more cattle were being culled with many said to be selling off stock they can’t afford to feed.
Clare Chair of the ICMSA Martin McMahon says there’s widespread fear about the impact of the coming winter