5th September, 2012
The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association has organised the delivery of several loads of straw and silage bales from the midlands and east of the country to a number of farmers in west Cork, who have been particularly badly hit by the disastrous weather over the past few months. The delivery of the bales took place on Monday, 3rd of September, at Togher Cross and Bantry.
The cost of the operation is being subsidised by ICSA, with a contribution being made by the farmers receiving the bales. The bales themselves are being provided either at cost price or at no cost, and the transport is being provided at a low cost also.
The initiative came about following a visit last week to west Cork by ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin who called on some of the worst hit farms in the more marginal land in the region. The ICSA leader also attended a public meeting in Dunmanway last Wednesday night, organised by ICSA West Cork chairman Dermot Kelleher.
“This is a very special initiative where farmers are going the extra mile to help out fellow farmers who under enormous pressure because of the weather. Last week, I visited a number of farms in west Cork and what I saw there were serious situations.”
“Rather than wait for outside help or seek funds which are unlikely to materialise, we in ICSA decided to step in and deliver practical help, because action is what’s needed at this point in time, not just words,” said Mr. Gilmartin.
Chair of West Cork ICSA, Dermot Kelleher, added, “In some cases, cattle have been inside for weeks because of the ground conditions and not a single blade of grass has been cut for silage, because the machinery simply can’t go into the fields.”
“This is putting unbelievable pressure on farmers and their families and that’s why ICSA felt something practical had to be done to relieve the pressure immediately.”
“The deliveries are being targeted at farmers who have little or no winter feed due to being unable to cut any or who have already fed it all. We are also trying to ensure that supplies go to farmers who are in a bad way with grazing conditions on marginal land and where other viable income sources are not available,” he explained.
“ICSA would welcome support from any farmers who feel that they may be able to help,” concluded Mr Kelleher, who is also the ICSA national suckler committee chairman.