The ICSA has stated that it has received assurances from Department of Agriculture officials that the Fodder Transport Support Measure introduced by Minister Michael Creed at the end of January will be simplified.

The scheme is difficult to navigate as has been evidenced in the low take up

Following a meeting between the ICSA and Department officials in Backweston, the ICSA Connaught/Ulster VP Jim Harrison said: “ICSA has received an assurance from the Department that elements of the scheme will now be revisited with a view to making the scheme more user-friendly.”

To date co-ops have reported an extremely low uptake in the fodder scheme, and only two official submissions have been made to the Department for compensation.

Last year

Last year, over 400 farmers in the north and northwest stated that they were short on fodder to some extent following an unseasonable wet summer in the region.

The scheme has been mired in controversy, as the ICSA uncovered that only certain counties were eligible for the scheme.

ICSA Cavan chairman Hugh Farrell said: “It has become blatantly apparent that the scheme is difficult to navigate as has been evidenced in the low take up to date.

“This message has now been taken on board by the Department who will assess where changes can be made in order to make the scheme more workable.”

Farrell concluded by urging farmers to complete fodder budgets and submit them to their agricultural advisors to make the Department aware of the growing demand for fodder following Storm Emma, which has resulted in an extended housing period.

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