Round bales are now fetching up to €40 in some parts of the country as the pressure on fodder stocks grows for some farmers.

Latest indications are that the average price is around €30 but sellers in certain counties have been asking for as much as €45 for round bales.

Challenging weather conditions last year combined with reduced fertiliser use on farms has impacted on both fodder quality and supply.

Farmers are now being urged to review stocks to assess if they have sufficient supply for the coming months.

One key measure is to complete a fodder budget and here are the steps to take:

  1. Measure silage pits (length x width x average height in metres) plus count bale stock;
  2. Make an estimate of potential second-cut area and yield;
  3. Estimate likely stock numbers for the coming winter.

However it is also important to remember to calculate demands based on your usual winter timeline plus one additional month.

Indications suggest that farmers in the south-east of the country are likely to be the worst impacted when it comes to reduced supplies.

However, this year it is understood that some farmers in several areas from Co. Meath through to Co. Cork – because of certain circumstances this year, particularly if livestock had to be housed earlier, will also see their fodder supplies now under pressure.

Agriland fodder survey

With supplies waning, Agriland wants to know how you are faring in terms of your fodder stocks.

Did you manage to cut enough silage last year, or are you feeling the effects now of the poor weather and possibly a reduction in your nitrogen use?

Simply answer the three questions below to let us know your situation and feel free to add any additional comments or concerns you may have in the box below.

Agriland will publish the results of the fodder survey once the deadline to participate closes at 4:00p.m tomorrow, Wednesday January 10.