INHFA calls for fodder subsidy

The Irish Natura & Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) are calling on Minister McConalogue to support our farming sector through a subsidy for the making of silage and hay.

Speaking on this INHFA President Vincent Roddy outlined the pressure all farmers especially those involved in our sheep and suckler sectors are facing. “In the last year we have seen the price of fertiliser triple, plastic wrap increase by 50% and diesel prices double, all of which will increase the cost of any silage made this summer” he added.

In working through the costs Roddy stated how “on a grass crop that produces 10 bales of silage/acre the cost of making a bale of silage will work out as follows

? €10 bale for fertiliser based on spreading 100kg/fertiliser/acre
? €4/bale for plastic wrap based on a roll of wrap @120/roll and a roll covering 30 bales
? Contract fees we understand could be in the region of €15/bale for mowing and baling assuming crops are not too light. If this is the case then there will be an additional fee for mowing.
? Finally the increased diesel cost for the farmer in spreading the fertilizer, rolling the ground and gathering the bales will come to at least €1/bale”

When all these costs are considered we are he added “looking at the cost of making a bale of silage to be €30 a bale and that is on owned land. If the land is rented then the cost will be higher.”

When compared to recent years the INHFA Leader estimated that we are looking at increased cost of at least €12/bale. “This is why the INHFA are calling for a fodder making subsidy to help off-lay all or most of these additional costs.”

In relation to the make-up of any fodder subsidy Roddy suggested “that any payment could be made on a unit price (bale per acre cut) and paid on the presentation of a contractors invoice/receipt. Accommodation will also be required for those that make their own fodder but I am confidant a suitable arrangement and verification process can also be put in place”

In concluding the INHFA President stressed the need for the Minister act on this and outline the basis of a support scheme. This he stated “will encourage farmers to make the necessary arrangements and ensure we all have adequate fodder supplies for this coming winter.”