Farmers ‘depressed’ over fodder situation

Farmers in County Roscommon are getting depressed as a result of the recent wet weather and the impact which it will have on fodder supplies later this year. ‘The biggest thing is the psychological effect that it is having on farmers,’ said IFA Development Officer, Adrian Leddy. ‘They are getting depressed at the fodder situation and it’s getting worse by the day, as the quality of fodder will decline if they don’t cut the crop. Quite a lot of farmers are downbeat and we are finding that at IFA meetings.’ On the subject of implications for fodder supply later this year, Mr. Leddy said, ‘I’m hearing that a number of dairy farmers have put their cattle back in the sheds and they have them in day and night. I have been talking to a couple of farmers in my own county of Leitrim and they have their cows in and they are eating into next year’s winter fodder and some left over from last winter. ‘It is also resulting in increased costs to farmers as they have to pay for meal to keep milk yields up and weight gain in cattle. People finishing cattle have also had to take them in and feed costs are continuing to rise.’ Hay and silage is not the only aspect of farming being effected by the recent inclement weather. Farm building projects have also been severely effected. ‘It is also holding up a lot of work that people had planned in relation to the new farm building grants, in terms of putting down tanks and building,’ said Mr. Leddy. While IFA can’t do much about the weather, the organisation is looking at ways in which the effects on farmers can be lessened. Mr. Leddy noted that both local TDs have called for the Single Farm Payment and area based payments to be brought forward in order to help cashflow on farms and said that this is a proposal which would be of significant help to many farmers.