Significant fodder deficits identified in Leinster area

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Fodder

Less than a quarter of farmers from this region have enough fodder reserves in place for the winter, a survey has found.

Over 400 dairy farmers attended the AIB sponsored Irish Grassland Association (IGA) Dairy Summer Tour which took place in West Cork last week.

A survey of those in attendance identified that nine in 10 dairy farmers from the Leinster area had completed a fodder budget and over 20% of those from the region had sufficient fodder reserves in place for the coming winter.

The survey also found that of those who do not have sufficient reserves from Leinster, almost half (46%) identified that they had a deficit of greater than 25%, while just 3% identified that they had a deficit in excess of 50%.

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Three in four farmers are currently eating into existing winter fodder supplies by feeding grass silage – slightly higher in Leinster with four in five feeding silage.

The event last week also heard that this measure was just one of a number of strategies being implemented on farm to deal with the current challenges.

Barry Hyland, AIB Agri Advisor in Longford said it was encouraging to see that many farmers who attended the IGA Dairy Summer Tour had completed a fodder budget and working to reduce deficits on their farm.

“The regional impact of the drought is highlighted in the results, with farmers from Leinster more affected that those in other parts of the country,” he added.

“Last weekend’s rain was very welcome, however, it will be some time before grass growth rates return to normal levels.

“We are encouraging our farming customers to determine how the additional costs associated with the drought are likely to affect their individual farm systems and to engage with us if support is required.”