Fodder aid schemes ‘adding pressure’ to shrinking supplies in Wales
The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is concerned that the ongoing export of UK fodder to assist Irish farmers will have a negative impact on domestic fodder supplies and prices.
The chairman of the FUW’s Milk and Dairy Committee, Dai Miles, said: “Persistent wet weather has left many fields in Wales completely saturated for months, and grass growth remains extremely poor across the country.
Many of our members are unable to turn cattle out onto the land and this means an increasing reliance on diminishing fodder supplies as cattle remain housed.
Miles stressed that the FUW alerted the Welsh government to concerns about the impact of fodder shortages many weeks ago – with reports that acute problems in some regions are increasing.
He said that the removal of fodder from the UK market through the Irish fodder aid schemes would add to existing pressures on the UK market.
We fully sympathise with Irish farmers regarding the pressures they are under; but with prices already extremely high in the UK and pressures mounting in parts of Wales, the impact of the Irish schemes for our members is naturally a concern.
“Above all else, farmers in Wales need to see a dramatic improvement in the weather. Otherwise, we will have to urgently consider schemes similar to those operating in the Republic of Ireland,” he concluded.
Lakeland collection depots
Meanwhile, Lakeland Dairies has further escalated its ongoing support for Irish dairy farmers during the current fodder crisis by opening two collection depots in Bailieboro and Killeshandra in Co. Cavan.
A spokesperson for the processor confirmed that the co-op has now sourced up to 2,500 bales of fodder from Ireland and the UK, with 1,000 of these currently being distributed.
Continuing, the spokesperson said: “This is being delivered at cost to farms and is now also being made available from four depots to ensure the maximum level of support for our milk suppliers.”