The President of the Irish Farmers' Association has called for the Department of Agriculture to help farmers to maintain their fodder reserves.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Joe Healy said the department should provide farmers with vouchers for meal concentrates, which can be added to silage in an attempt to enhance fodder.

He said the IFA was "very disappointed that there hasn't been more movement [from the Department of Agriculture] on helping farmers purchase extra concentrates to bulk up their reserves".

He said said farmers, particularly those in the northwest of the country, will need this help to maintain enough fodder to last them through the winter.

Mr Healy said farmers in counties that have been hit with bad weather, particularly Sligo, Leitrim, parts of Roscommon and Donegal, are those most in need of help to increase fodder reserves.

He said: "There are parts of Leitrim where the last time they had two fine days together was the 24th and 25th July, so they were unable to get a second or third cut.

"Wet weather in September meant they had to take the animals off the land and start feeding out what they had much earlier than normal, so they were hit with a double whammy."

The IFA has announced a "twinning" initiative, whereby farmers in counties in the east and south will give them fodder that they may not need.

Farmers accepting the fodder will pay for the production of the fodder, such as bailing and wrapping etc, but Mr Healy said the department should cover the transport costs.