Drought costing €1,750 a week

Tom O'Farrell: Drought is costing dearly.
Tom O'Farrell: Drought is costing dearly.

THE ongoing heatwave conditions across the country is costing some dairy farmers in the region of €1,750 per week in extra feed costs and already fodder budgets need to be put in place, the farm accountancy firm IFAC advised this week.

IFAC warned that the current drought conditions would not only have an immediate impact – the legacy of the Midsummer ‘shut down’ of grass growth would also have a serious effect on Winter fodder supplies.

Tom O’Farrell, Partner in the IFAC Athenry Office, said that it already had been an expensive year due to the conditions over the Winter and Spring period – now farmers were facing into extra costs because of the drough conditions and their impact on grass.

“This current spell of hot weather will have a knock-on effect on the levels of fodder that a farmer can store for the Winter so on-farm planning needs to happen now to ensure that farmers can have access to and can afford to buy in additional feed.

“In what has already been an expensive year this heatwave is adding significant additional on farm costs. We estimate that the heatwave is costing about €1,750 a week for the average dairy farmer in additional costs,” said Tom O’Farrell.

He advised that farmers shouldn’t ignore the problem and should now plan for financial pressures ‘coming down the track’ – already, IFAC wereworking with farmers to put cashflow budgets in place.

“By putting those cashflow budgets in place, farmers will be in a better position to meet all their financial commitments for the year. It’s the sensible thing to do.

“Banks hate surprises. We’re advising farmers to work with the banks now to let them know how they’re planning to manage the additional costs brought on by this heatwave and how they’re going to pay their bills over the winter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.