Imported fodder to aid 800 Dairygold suppliers by end of week

It is estimated that 800 Dairygold members will benefit from fodder imported by the processor from the UK by the end of the week.

The first shipment of the imported fodder organised by Dairygold to assist its suppliers arrived into Rosslare Port last Thursday, April 5.

Since then, trailer loads of hay and haylage have continued to arrive on a daily basis to be distributed to members desperately struggling to feed housed stock.

In total, the southern based processor has secured 4,500t of haylage and hay from the UK, which is expected to be fully distributed to members by early next week.

A spokesperson for Dairygold said: “We will have supplied fodder to approximately 800 members by the end of this week.”

Although Dairygold doesn’t currently have plans to secure any more quantities of fodder; it will continue to monitor demand closely.

It is being reviewed on a daily basis as we monitor the supply/demand situation for our members across our branch network.

“We are taking into consideration the weather and the expected rate of grass growth for the coming days,” the spokesperson said.

Shannon support

Meanwhile, Shannon Airport has pledged its support to farmers battling the current fodder crisis by offering to repeat its intervention of 2013 when it harvested silage from its 400ac site.

The airport’s operations team will meet with farm representatives over the coming days to explore the need to fast-track cutting of grass on the airport grounds in light of the severe difficulties faced by many farmers due to the prolonged severe winter and spring weather.

Although the grass inside the airport’s perimeter is not due to be cut until later in the summer; in light of the shortages, the airport is offering to bring cutting forward to support local farmers.

Five years ago, in late April, farmers received 1,600 bales of silage from the airport in what was then the most severe fodder crisis in living memory.

Although the current situation may not yet be as bad as 2013; Niall Maloney, Shannon Airport’s operations director, said it is widely recognised that many farmers are in dire circumstances.

A lot could happen in a week if the weather improves and we get more growth but as of now, many farmers are experiencing major problems.

“We’ve seen a lot of fodder imported over the past week as a result, [as well as] the introduction of emergency government supports and we are willing to play our part also,” he concluded.