Lakeland sets up fodder helpline; urges farmers in difficulty to make contact

Lakeland Dairies has set up a dedicated fodder helpline for its milk suppliers on: 042-969-4341, the co-op has announced.

The co-op is advising farmers to measure fodder stocks on the farm and to estimate their fodder requirements until May 1.

Farmers should then quantify any shortfall or surplus and contact Lakeland to inform them of their situation and for advice and assistance. The processor said it will buy any surpluses from farmers for redistribution.

Lakeland Dairies has sourced forage and fodder reserves at home and has also established a number of immediate fodder supply channels from the UK.

A spokesperson for the co-op said that it has been in communication with farmers throughout the winter monitoring fodder availability and management.

The processor’s member relations, agri technical sales team and nutritionists are available to assist farmers and Lakeland advises them to make contact.

The co-op’s fodder stretcher also continues to be available at the lowest possible rates, the spokesperson added.

The helpline is dedicated for fodder enquiries only. General enquiries can be made as usual to member relations on: 1890-47-4720.

‘Weather over next week critical’

Co-operative support for fodder-deprived farmers was reinforced by the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) president, Martin Keane, who added that the weather over the next week to 10 days will be vital in determining the further escalation of the current fodder shortage.

“Co-op farm advisory teams are working intensively with farmers to identify fodder requirements and are developing appropriate feeding regimes in order to stretch fodder stocks,” the president said, adding that a number of co-ops are also sourcing imports of fodder from abroad.

We are now at a situation where weather over the next seven to 10 days will be critical.

“If the weather does improve, grass growth will resume and the situation will be largely resolved. If not, the situation will be very serious.”