MSP backs farmers' calls for rules relaxation to ease fodder crisis

Mr Stevenson says there are severe challenges facing farmers at the moment as a result of the wet winter and Spring and now an exceptionally dry summer.
Mr Stevenson says there are severe challenges facing farmers at the moment as a result of the wet winter and Spring and now an exceptionally dry summer.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has asked Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing to consider a relaxation on rules on ‘green manure’ crops to assist with the fodder shortage currently being experienced.

The MSP raised the matter with the Cabinet Secretary after meeting farmers at the recent New Deer Show.

The Scottish Government has also met with stakeholders from the farming industry including Scottish Beef Association; Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB); Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS); Scottish Machinery Ring Association; Scotland’s rural charity RSABI; Scottish Dairy Hub; Maltsters Association of Great Britain; Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC); NSA Scotland; Scotch Whisky Association; SAC Consulting and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “There are severe challenges facing farmers at the moment as a result of the wet winter and spring and now an exceptionally dry summer.

“Chief among these is the fodder shortfall which will make for a difficult autumn and winter. I’ve raised the issue of ‘green manure’ crops as fodder at the request of local farmers as a sensible and useful contribution to helping meet the shortfall.”

NFUS vice-president Martin Kennedy, who chaired today’s meeting and was among those who met with Mr Stevenson at New Deer Show, said:

“This is set to be an extremely challenging autumn and winter, but those round the table today are committed to helping the industry through it.”