A further package of State support for farmers struggling with rising costs, which could be worth up to €1,000 each, is likely to be approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday.
Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will ask Ministers to approve a €55 million scheme for farmers who grow silage, to assist them with the cost of fertiliser which has rocketed as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Officials were finalising a scheme over the weekend which would see farmers eligible for a payment of €100 per hectare for all silage cut up to 10 hectares, meaning farmers will be eligible to receive up to €1,000 each, with the payment to be made later in the year.
The scheme is in response to rising fertiliser costs which officials fear could lead to a shortage of fodder for animals later in the year.
It follows previous schemes to help farmers plant tillage crops (worth €12 million) to help offset the country’s dependency on imported grains and artificial fertilisers.
Two packages worth a total of €20 million have been established for pig farmers, while €3 million has been set aside for the horticulture sector.
Mr McConalogue established the National Fodder and Food Security Committee to provide advice and assistance to farmers throughout this period and he also set up an emergency response team in his own Department to manage the impact.
The Minister previously said that he would seek to bring forward a package of support for beef and sheep farmers in particular who are most impacted by the rise in fertiliser prices. There are also concerns about protecting food security and staving off potential fodder shortages next winter.
A recent survey by Teagasc, the State agency over the sector, found that 49 per cent of drystock farmers had yet to spread chemical nitrogen leading to growing fears of a deficit in fodder supplies nationally in the housing period.
Ministers are also likely to be updated on the plans to accommodate refugees from Ukraine when they gather for the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Efforts are continuing to identify and renovate buildings which can house large numbers of refugees, as the supply of hotel and bed and breakfast accommodation reaches its limits.