Making the calls, the Association of Farming and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI) pushed back against those adding to an already pressurised situation.
In a short, sharp statement on the matter, building on earlier calls for calm, the contractor representative group said: “Where is the community spirit among farmers when the silage pressure is on? Would it be more appropriate for Teagasc to advise farmers in their discussion groups to come together to cooperate in covering silage pits to allow silage contractors to move quickly between farms? Would it be more appropriate to advise farmers to have plastic at the ready for covering pits as well as tyres for covering? At FCI we would prefer to see that traditional Irish spirit of ‘meitheal’ among farmers at this time of high pressure on silage contractors rather than barrage of about about ‘Why are you not cutting my silage rather than that of my neighbours?”
Arguing that now is a time for the “true spirit solidarity and cooperation to shine through in the silage fields” among farmers and contractors, the FCI added: “It is time to have this meitheal spirit encouraged, promoted and supported by Teagasc rather than advising farmers about the losses in quality incurred as each day passes, the need to continue to force urgency on silage contractors. The season is late, the machinery to harvest it is in the country, higher quality short rotation silage crops are less of a Teagasc priority than bulk of roughage. So, let’s all ease off on the silage contractors – with cooperation, respect and genuine support the crop can be harvested in the best possible conditions.”