Dairygold will import fodder if necessary this spring, the co-op has told its suppliers.

In a recent statement issued to members, Dairygold’s board and management said it was “acutely aware of the significant challenges that the ongoing adverse weather conditions” are causing for farmers.

Co-op staff were working to link available fodder stocks in particular catchment areas to milk suppliers who are in need of feed, Dairygold stated.

“In addition, Dairygold is ready to take any additional actions required, including importing fodder, if necessary,” the co-op added.

Dairygold is also participating in the Department of Agriculture’s Fodder Transport Support Measure. This offers subsidies for the transport of hay, fodder beet, straw and silage which has to be moved over 75km.

Dairygold pointed out that it is currently providing a €20/t rebate for all compound feeds purchased by milk suppliers. This measure is due to end next week.

The co-op also introduced what it described as a “very competitive” fodder stretcher and is providing one-to-one advice to suppliers on how to manage fodder.

Meanwhile, the co-op estimates that it will provide interest-free credit to the value of €35m to its suppliers this spring.

Interest-free credit is available to all Dairygold shareholders under the “04” sub account package for the purchase of essential inputs such as feed and fertiliser.

The interest-free credit is provided from January to April, with repayments deferred until the June-to-September period.

“Given the current weather challenges, we have seen a significant increase in the uptake of this offer. The society is now expecting to support up to €35m in interest-free credit to its members under the scheme,” Dairygold stated.

The co-op urged farmers who are feeling under pressure or stress, due to the weather, to access its free and confidential member assistance programme, which offers “practical assistance and emotional support”.

The service is available all day every day.