SHANNON Airport’s runways returned solely to aeroplane pilots and not tractor drivers this Monday.
Agricultural contractors concluded their silage harvest after 10pm on Sunday night. Over 300 acres of grass was donated to farmers battling the fodder crisis.
The grass was given free of charge by Shannon Airport and they gave a small contribution towards set up costs.
The silage is estimated to be valued over €40,000.
The airport agreed to a request from the IFA to advance the grass cutting from 2015.
Airport director, Mary Considine said that the airport was delighted to be able to make this significant contribution to farmers.
“We weren’t due for a full grass cut here until 2015 but we have brought it forward in response to the IFA 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 hasn’t got a full cut for two years. We are happy to assist, especially if this can help farmers out of the current crisis,” said Ms Considine.
Andrew Dundas, Clare IFA chairman, said this is one of the most difficult fodder crises farmers have experienced.
“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 wouldn’t otherwise be able to get their hands on fodder right not, it’s that tight. That’s how important this support from Shannon will be to the farmers,” said Mr Dundas.