Minister Creed urged farmers to continue to maximise fodder production, even where they had secured enough for themselves at a meeting of the Fodder Stakeholder group in Tullamore on Thursday.
The second Teagasc national survey on fodder shows a significant improvement in making up the remaining national shortfall in fodder, with the national deficit moving from what was estimated as a 28% shortage in early July to an 11% deficit. A significant deficit remains however on many farms.
While the first shipments of fodder under the €4.25 million Fodder Import measure have reached Ireland, the Minister stressed that while this initiative is an important support to farmers, the priority still remains to maximise autumn production which is the most cost-effective means of reducing the gap.
Very timely in this respect is the latest Teagasc data showing that grass growth has returned to more normal patterns in most areas this week.
In relation to autumn grass production, Minister Creed drew attention to the flexibilities that have been granted allowing fertiliser applications until the end of September and in the case of organic fertilisers, until the end of October.
The Minister also reminded farmers that the closing date for submission of applications under the Fodder Production Incentive Measure for Tillage Farmers is next Monday, 17 September.
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