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Ireland Facing Agri-Food Crisis

Ireland Facing Agri-Food CrisisIreland Facing Agri-Food Crisis

The latest dry spell has threatened another fodder emergency for Irish farmers. Some are already feeding their herds with silage during what is normally a big month for grass feeding. Met Eireann’s seven-day rainfall forecast is predicting zero rainfall for the rest of the month, signaling serious issues for the country’s enormous herd of seven million cattle, RTE reported. Everything scientists have been warning about for years is coming to pass. Climate change is driving the extreme conditions that brought two wind storms to the country within six months, a deluge of snow in March that caused a fodder crisis and near-drought conditions this June which are threatening another. The signals have been there for years. Nothing was done to prepare for future issues after a series of floods in 2012 and 2013 caused a major fodder problem. Remarkably, the demographic worst-hit by climate change, farmers, are the group most in denial. Environmental groups last year warned that Ireland was the least climate-efficient country in Europe. The Irish Farmers’ Association accused the experts as engaging in a “continuous campaign of undermining the agri-food sector”.

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