Shannon Airport has decided to help farmers through the current fodder shortage by bringing forward grass cutting on the 300-acre site by two years and donating the bales of silage to local farmers.
The airport agreed to a request from the Irish Farmers Association to advance the grass cutting from 2015, with harvesters set to be on site at the airport by as early as 3pm and the first bales ready for distribution to farmers 90 minutes later.
The intervention by Shannon Airport will provide significant relief for farmers, with up to €40,000 worth of silage made available by the airport free to the IFA for distribution.
Speaking ahead of the arrival of the harvesting crew, Mary Considine, Managing Director, Shannon Airport, said that the airport was delighted to be able to make this significant contribution to farmers.
“We were not due for a full grass cut here until 2015 but we have brought it forward in response to the IFA’s request. Everyone is aware of the current fodder issue and farming is hugely important to the region so it was a compelling ask and one we didn’t have to think twice about supporting. There will be a decent return from this for the farmers as some of the grass has not had a full cut for two years. We are happy to assist, especially if this can help farmers out of the current crisis.”
Andrew Dundas, Chairman of Clare IFA, said: “This is one of the most difficult fodder crises farmers have experienced and our members in Clare are particularly badly affected. Shannon Airport couldn’t have been more helpful and this will bridge the gap for hundreds of farmers in Clare. The farmers who will be getting these silage bales would not otherwise be able to get their hands on fodder right now, it’s that tight. That’s how important this support from Shannon Airport will be to the farmers.”