DEAR EDITOR: I am reaching out to you to share my deep concerns regarding the current challenges of farmers in this country.

The morale among the farming community has never been so low, primarily due to the harsh weather conditions and the acute shortage of fodder we’re facing.

The impact of these challenges reverberates throughout the entire agricultural sector.

Tillage farmers are struggling to get their crops in the ground, while livestock farmers are forced to keep their animals indoors, rapidly depleting their fodder reserves and contending with overflowing slurry tanks.

While those in the Department of Agriculture may claim there is no shortage of fodder, the reality is, if it’s not in your yard it’s no good. I have been farming a long time and I can see a significant fodder deficit looming by year’s end, particularly if the summer fails to be favourable.

To address this urgent issue and reduce our reliance on foreign fodder imports, it’s imperative that farmers are allowed to increase the amount of fertiliser allocated by at least 10% this year.

Prompt action is essential: delaying this decision until later in the year will be too late.

Additionally, I propose extending the period for protein meal feed to accommodate animals who are still on their winter diets. Decision-makers in the comfort of their heated offices must listen to the voices of farmers on the ground and show greater flexibility in these challenging times.