Suppliers of silage are being urged not to cash in on the possible fodder crisis which is expected to hit the West of Ireland.
Fear has been expressed that many in this county will face significant financial challenges, after months of wet weather has led to depleted stocks of fodder.
The IFA has launched an emergency fodder intiative to help those affected as Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
Met Eireann says rainfall levels in November and December were ahead of typical values, and after a wet Autumn, it means that many farmers in Clare are finding themselves in a difficult situation.
Many were unable to get a second cut of silage, curtailing the amount of fodder they’ll have available this spring.
Additionally, waterlogged land has meant animals have had to be housed much earlier than usual – in some cases since August.
Clare chair of the Irish Farmers Association Willie Hanrahan is concerned that this may lead to some farmers trying to cash in by selling fodder at exorbitant rates.
However, It’s not the first time Clare farmers have been facing down the barrel of a gun.
2013 saw a major fodder crisis that led to initiatives such as the cutting of the airfield at Shannon Airport in a bid to get supply.
It’s now hoped that lessons learned then will see more action now, and already the IFA’s emergency fodder initiative has been established, with struggling counties twinned with others to support the worst affected farmers.
Farmers in Laois will come to the assistance of their counterparts in Clare.
Spanish Point Fianna Fáil Councillor Michael Hillery says it’s an increasingly worrying situation.