Clare farmers will share in a €4.25 million Fodder Import Support scheme that will be operated by the Department of Agriculture until the end of the year.

Confirming the latest allocation towards the cost of importing fodder from abroad, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said that the measure was introduced in light of the recent severe drought conditions and their impact on an already difficult fodder situation.

The fund is intended to reduce the cost of imported hay, silage, haylage, alfalfa and will operate through the co-operatives and registered importers. It will cover forage imported from August 12 to December 31 and will be subject to EU State Aid  rules.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said that while the measure will operate through the co-operatives and registered importers, the actual beneficiaries will be farmers who need supplies of fodder.

“As was the case in the earlier fodder import measure of last spring, participation will be straightforward for the farmer who contacts a participating Co-op or registered importer and purchases fodder. My Department will subsequently reimburse the Co-op/ importer with a contribution towards the cost of transport.

“It will provide a valuable extra source of fodder, complementing the range of initiatives I have already introduced this summer focused on maximising the production of fodder from our own land resources. I will continue to monitor the fodder situation closely and work with all stakeholders until we have successfully addressed the issues around fodder availability,” the Minister concluded.

Application forms and terms and conditions have been made available through the Co-ops/registered importers and are also on the Department’s website: