The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., today launched an incentive measure for tillage farmers to produce additional feed this Autumn through a financial commitment of up to €2.75 million. The Minister launched the scheme having secured the agreement of the Minister for Finance & Public, Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe T.D.
Referring to the launch Minister Creed said; ‘I am acutely aware of the need to prepare for the winter ahead. I have been actively engaged with the Fodder Group and through their work, maximising production of home grown fodder is a collective priority this autumn. Through this incentive, I am encouraging tillage growers to actively engage in the fodder market’.
This measure will provide an incentive of €155 per hectare for tillage growers who grow a temporary crop of short rotation grasses for fodder production over the winter months and €100 per hectare for those growing catch crops such as fodder rape, turnips etc. Currently over 23,000 hectares of catch crops are supported under the Agri-Environment Scheme, GLAS. This additional funding commitment aims to incentivise a doubling of this area.
‘This year has been a challenging year for both Livestock and Tillage farmers. This measure will support Tillage farmers to supply into what is a strong market for fodder’, added Minister Creed.
This initiative has been developed following recent meetings with the industry and will also provide a significant additional fodder supply for the livestock sector.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State Andrew Doyle T.D. said;
‘Tillage farmers are a critical part of our agricultural sector supplying the brewing and distilling industry, grain to the feed industry and straw to the livestock sector whilst also delivering other benefits. This measure is therefore focused at supporting tillage farmers to maximise additional short term fodder production.’
The measure will not apply where land is being taken out of tillage production but encourages temporary production only of fodder by tillage growers.
Farmers growing between 3 hectares and 50 hectares of additional temporary forage crops (additional to that already grown under GLAS) will be eligible.
The Minister also highlighted that in response to the very challenging spring for tillage growers, he had secured a temporary flexibility in the ‘three crop rule’ this spring for arable farmers and following direct contact with the Commission, has secured higher advance payments under Basic Payments and GLAS scheme supports. Additionally, GLAS farmers will be allowed sow Italian Ryegrass as part of their GLAS commitment and avail of earlier use of the crop. These measures are particularly important for the arable sector.