The introduction of the transport subsidy scheme to assist farmers who are having difficulty accessing fodder was a good step, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman has said.

Gorman said the scheme needs to be flexible in terms of the application process and it has to allow for the speedy transfer of fodder and native grain in stores to where it is needed most.

At Tuesday's National Fodder and Food Security Committee meeting, the IFA said it raised the importance of the Department meeting all farm scheme payment deadlines and extending the nitrates deadline to free up advisory resources in Teagasc and agricultural consultancy firms.

Banks and credit unions

Gorman also said the banks and credit unions should adopt maximum flexibility with their customers to ensure they can face any cashflow challenges.

“Many drystock farmers are absorbing significantly higher costs because of the prolonged wet weather and they will need support in the coming months to get back on their feet,” he said.

“Officers in [the] IFA’s network of 940 branches across the country are working locally to provide whatever support is needed to their neighbours.

"I would encourage farmers to play their part by keeping an eye out for fellow farmers and neighbours during this critical time,” he concluded.