Minister for Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has said a new agri-loan scheme to assist farmers would be in place before the end of the month.

He made the remarks in response to a Fianna Fáil motion seeking the establishment of a special crisis fund to assist farmers who have lost crops because of bad weather.

The Fianna Fáil motion is being supported by Sinn Féin, Labour and a number of Independents and smaller parties. 

Minister Creed said €14m of Exchequer funds had already been committed to the loan scheme.

He said this money would be extended to farmers from the tillage sector if they apply.

The Government has been asked to provide financial assistance for grain farmers who have lost revenue as a result of bad weather last autumn.

Heavy rain along the western seaboard last September played havoc with the harvest.

It left crops saturated and in many instances it was impossible for tillage farmers to bring in their grain.

The Irish Farmers' Association says around 250 producers were affected, with combined losses of €4m.

The organisation is seeking funding from the Government to ease the pressure on the farmers concerned.

Those affected protested outside the Dáil this afternoon.