Fodder transport scheme due to be announced today

A fodder transport scheme is expected to be announced as the Department of Agriculture's Fodder Action Group meets with members of the Irish Farmers Association and other industry experts in Sligo today.

The scheme is likely to include a transport subsidy to assist with the distribution of hay and silage to areas worst hit by the fodder crisis, including Donegal.

Ahead of todays meeting, IFA Deputy President Richard Kennedy said that any transport support scheme put in place by Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, will have to be practical and effective in dealing with the crisis.

The expected scheme is to assist in the distribution of fodder from farmers who may have a surplus to those most in need of it.

A survey undertaken by Teagasc in December established that 85% of farmers in the North West are effected by fodder shortages and have on avergage less than half of the fodder they need.

Mr Kennedy acknowledged the high costs involved in the distribution of fodder to those areas worse affected and has said the expected transport scheme would be welcome so long as it is operable and put in place quickly.