Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has said there are no plans to introduce a fodder support scheme for farmers in the Shannon Callows.

In August, the Irish Farmers Journal reported that farmers in the area had lost thousands of bales as a result of flooding in the area. Silage ground was under two feet of water in parts.

Hundreds of farmers attended a protest in Banagher, Co Offaly, to express their anger over the flooding and lack of action from the Office of Public Works (OPW), Waterways Ireland, and the ESB.

In response to a parliamentary question from Galway east TD Seán Canney, Minister McConalogue said that “at this time” there were no plans for such a scheme.

“The deputy will be aware that in June 2022, following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I launched the €56m Fodder Support Scheme.

“The aim of the scheme was to incentivise farmers, in particular drystock farmers, to grow more fodder (silage and/or hay) to reduce the risk of animal welfare issues over the 2022 winter and 2023 spring.

“In November 2022, I launched the 2023 Fodder Support Scheme and made an advance payment of €30m under the 2023 Fodder Scheme in December 2022,” he said.

Both the 2022 and 2023 schemes were a recognition of the impact of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its impact on the availability of imported animal feed and on the price of agricultural inputs, especially chemical fertiliser, the Minister said.

“At this time, there are no plans to introduce a further fodder support scheme for farmers in the Shannon Callows,” he concluded.

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