Fodder Crisis: ICSA gets positive response from banks & launches fodder appeal

19th April, 2013

The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has held discussions with the main banks with a view to alleviating cash flow problems for farmers who are under immense pressure due to feed scarcity and weather woes. The association says it has got a very positive response from the banks, and is advising farmers with cashflow difficulties to contact their local bank sooner rather than later.

ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin said, “ICSA has outlined the issues to the key banks and made them aware of the critical need for short-term credit for farmers, due to the scarcity of fodder and severely delayed grass growth.”

“The banks have told us that they understand the difficulties being faced on farms at the moment, and that they are willing engage with farmers in order to tide them over. I would therefore advise farmers who need short-term credit to buy feed for their cattle to contact their local branch without delay. I would like to add that any farmer experiencing difficulty in securing credit from their bank should contact ICSA. At times like this, we must all do what we can, and that includes the banks for whom farmers have been steady and loyal customers.”

ICSA has also put out an appeal for fodder from its membership, and it will put anyone with surplus fodder to sell in contact with farmers who need it. “Any member who needs fodder or who has surplus fodder should contact the ICSA office at 057 8662120 or email admin@icsaireland.com,” according to ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch.

Meanwhile, ICSA suckler chair Dermot Kelleher has said that a number of co-ops are helping to source and import hay from the UK to try and ease the pressure on the critically low fodder supplies across Ireland. Mr Kelleher said, “The arrival of hay from the UK will be very helpful indeed to those who are in dire need. Most farms are bridging the fodder gap with concentrates but animals do need roughage in their diets and the lack of it is causing a problem. We will certainly be delighted to see the arrival of these additional supplies, and I commend the co-ops for their efforts in sourcing them.”