Teagasc note of caution on feed supplies

Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn
Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn

WHILE the Teagasc Fodder Survey for January indicates that one in every four farmers is still in a feed deficit situation, demand for silage, hay and straw in Galway has been described this week as ‘quite low’.

A dry and growthy backend period, allied to a mild Winter, seems to have taken the pressure off farmers in the West of Ireland, with most of them getting second and even third cuts during the Autumn period.

However, in the Teagasc Fodder Survey for January – details of which were released this week – 27% of the 364 farmers surveyed, indicated that they were in a Winter feed deficit situation.

Teagasc Ruminant Nutrition specialist, Brian Garry, said that while on average farmers have reported having enough fodder on hands, one in four farmers are still facing into a fodder deficit situation, with over half of these reporting a deficit of greater than 10%.

“So the effects of last Summer’s drought could still be felt this Spring. This situation could be exacerbated if we get a late Spring, resulting in a later turnout than planned on the farms completing this survey,” said Brian Garry.

He also pointed out that 75% of farmers who had surplus fodder indicated that they did not plan to sell this off during Spring, meaning that the quantity of feed available for purchase will be limited.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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