Just days left for farmers to submit fodder orders to ensure supply

There are just days left for farmers to submit their fodder orders to Aurivo to ensure supply for the winter period.

A series of recent fodder shortage information evenings in the north and north-west, which were organised by Aurivo, attracted an overall attendance of in excess of 400 farmers.

Headquartered in the north-west of Ireland, the co-operative is calling on farmers to act now to alleviate the severity of the fodder shortage – which was evidently apparent given the number of attendees at the meetings in counties Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo, Aurivo explained.

In order to aid the fodder shortage situation in certain areas of the Aurivo trading region, farmers have been afforded the opportunity to purchase straw or hay through their local Homeland store.

But the co-operative is urging farmers to act fast, if they have not already done so, as the deadline that orders must be placed by to ensure supply has been set as this Friday (December 1).

It is hoped that by getting orders in early, Aurivo will be able to provide its customers with certainty of supply as well as with a more competitive price than if the search began next spring – when everyone could be at panic stations.

Initial research had suggested that the co-operative would be able to source native hay; but the straw would, more than likely, have to be sourced abroad.

‘Farmers may face significant pressure’

Commenting on the matter, the general manager of Agribusiness at Aurivo, Stephen Blewitt, said: “If we wait until next March to calculate potential shortages, farmers may face significant pressure. The importance of early intervention now cannot be overstated.

“The objective of the information evenings was to get farmers to calculate their fodder needs and to determine whether they have enough to get through the winter and, if they were short, the options that are available – such as: selling stock; purchasing fodder; or purchasing concentrates.

Aurivo is committed to helping farmers across its region and I would encourage as many people as possible to take action now.

The hundreds of farmers who attended the three information evenings hosted by Aurivo were offered practical advice and support around the fodder shortages and steps to alleviate the severity of the crisis by experts from its Homeland and Nutrias teams.

Meanwhile, these teams are also assisting farmers to overcome any fodder shortfalls by providing them with the option to purchase fodder stretcher ration, such as the Nutrias three-way mix, so they can supplement their fodder.

Speaking previously to AgriLand, Blewitt said: “If people stick their head in the sand now and hope for the best, they could be in bother next March.

A farmer might look around now and say he has a full pit of silage or 400 bales in his yard. But if we get a bad spring, reducing the level of silage fed now by 5% or 10% could be the difference in having enough of fodder and running out in a few months.

The western committee of the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is set to host a fodder meeting in the Mc William Park Hotel in Claremorris, Co. Mayo, on Friday, December 1.

The meeting, which will discuss the uncertainty surrounding the fodder crisis, is expected to get underway from 8:00pm. It will by both the president of the IFA, Joe Healy, and the chairman of Aurivo Co-op, Pat Duffy.