Fodder Crisis Over?
This week in Farming Week By Week we will be looking at is the fodder crisis truly over.
With the let-up in weather in the past week many farmers have gotten their final cut of silage finished. Throughout the Irish countryside many mowers, harvesters, bailers and tractors could be seen hard at work. Throughout the year there has been a lingering sense of worry on whether or not there will be enough silage to feed winter stock, however throughout the past few weeks this sense of worry has eased a bit, due to the rain easing off and the heat still in the ground after the scorching summer conditions for grass growth have been perfect.
As well as the lack of feed, there is also a huge lack straw for winter stock. This is a result of the hot weather, which led to crops maturing quicker, meaning less straw per acre and it is very brittle. Which means a 4 foot by 4 foot round bail costing up to €30, as a result farmers are forced to diversify their bedding options and are looking towards peat and woodchips as an alternative. This may be cheaper, however is far from ideal.
With 79% of dairy farmers still short on fodder is the crisis really over?
By Stephen Young, Stephen Fennell and Sam Purser