Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said he would be flexible in dealing with subsidies for fodder supplies.

The minister was speaking as the Dáil debated a Fianna Fáil motion on the fodder crisis for a second evening.

Fianna Fáil's Éamon Ó Cuív had asked the minister to extend the fodder subsidy for one week.

As a result of the minister's comments, Mr Ó Cuív said his party would not look for a vote on the issue.

Earlier, Tipperary South TD Seamus Healy said a special unit needed to be established in the Department of Agriculture to deal with the crisis and to ensure it will not happen again.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath said the minister was warned that this crisis would happen and he did nothing until it was too late.

Labour's Michael McNamara said Shannon Airport should be commended for allowing 300 acres to be cut for fodder.

He said 1,000 bales came from there and they were distributed to farmers in the Shannon area.

In her maiden speech, Fine Gael's Helen McEntee commended Minister Coveney for how he has handled the issue.