Fianna Fáil’s Agriculture Spokesperson, Charlie McConalogue has today written to Minister Michael Creed requesting a once-off exemption to allow for earlier cutting and saving of hay.
Deputy McConalogue explained, “Under the current regulations governing the GLAS Scheme, cutting is not permitted until after July 1st. However, in light of the expected spell of warm, sunny weather, I am calling on the Minister to relax the rules and allow farmers make use of the good weather and get as much cut as possible.
“Given the importance of, and necessity for, good weather to save fodder crops, and the unpredictability of weather in general in this country, the request is firmly rooted in common sense.
Deputy McConalogue went on to stress the importance of giving farmers a better opportunity now to cut their hay saying that it only makes sense.
“Supplies across the country are heavily depleted as a result of the fodder shortage over the last nine months. It’s only right and proper that we make hay while the sun shines to replenish stocks and ensure that every chance is given to farmers to replenish much needed fodder stocks.
“A quick and timely decision is needed by the Minister to let farmers get to work. Flexibility is also required from the Department to allow farmers to save fodder from any additional grasses on low input permanent pasture awards under the GLAS Scheme. Farmers are not allowed to save any excess toppings from LIP swards under the terms of the scheme and topping can commence after the 1st July.
“A derogation should be provided to this rule this year to help replenish fodder stocks and ensure that topped LIP swards are not lost to farmers as a potential source of additional winter fodder.
“As the Minister is well aware, a similar derogation was provided for Species Rich Grassland areas under the AEOS scheme in 2013 in order to help restore fodder stocks after the 2012/13 fodder crisis. The precedent is there; all we need from the Minister is a decision,” concluded McConalogue.Tags: