"Just days" left in fodder supplies
Kilkenny based Glanbia, the country's largest dairy processor, has arranged for the import of 1,000 tonnes of alfalfa fodder from Spain, which will land in Dublin this weekend for distribution to Glanbia branches by early next week.
It has also said it will make a support payment of €50 per tonne on all ruminant feed purchased by its co-op members during the month of April.
Speaking earlier in the week, the Irish Farmers' Association chairperson in Kilkenny, James Murphy, said many farmers here and around the country have "just days" left of fodder.
Continuous wet and cold weather meant below-average growth at a time of year when animals would traditionally go back out on grass.
A Status Yellow rainfall warning remains in place for Kilkenny which is likely to exacerbate the crisis, with 25 to 30mm of rain expected between yesterday evening, last night and for a time today.
Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has also announced the allocation of €1.5m for the introduction of a Fodder Import Support Measure with immediate effect.
The last time a fodder importation scheme was required was in 2013.
On that occasion, a total of 140,000 tonnes of imported supplies were required to meet the shortage in supply.