FOUR critical flaws in the fodder scheme aimed at helping farmers with feed shortages must be addressed as a mater of urgency, if it is to be a meaningful method of assistance to those most in need, an MEP has said this week.
Luke Ming Flanagan said that the lack of a meal voucher scheme; the compulsory nature of the co-ops’ involvement; the 100km distance requirement; and the cost of completing a forage budget, were issues that had to be addressed by Minister Michael Creed.
MEP Flanagan said that Teagasc advice over the years in relation to fodder shortages was for the feeding of concentrates to ‘stretch out’ the supplies of silage and hay.
“As long as the animal has enough fibre in their diet, feeding concentrates is better value for money than maintaining animals on bought in hay or silage alone.
“In addition, a meal voucher scheme is necessary to ensure that farmers not yet under pressure can extend their existing silage supplies to avert a crisis situation in six weeks’ time,” he said.
Ming Flanagan also described the ‘compulsory role’ of the co-ops in the scheme as ‘a further unnecessary complication’ and something that had little rationale attached to it.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.