Concerns voiced at Mallow fodder shortage meeting

A “large number” of farmers attended a recent meeting in Mallow, Co. Cork, to voice their concerns over what effects the expected fodder shortage will have on their farm enterprises.

Organised by the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), the meeting was chaired by the chairperson of the association’s north and east Cork branch, Maurice Walsh.

Speaking to AgriLand, Walsh outlined that there was a lot of concern among farmers who attended the meeting and that stress levels are on the rise.

He said the key message from the meeting was that now is the time to act.

“There is a lot of uncertainty because of the adverse weather experienced last winter, along with the challenges this year regarding fodder,” the dairy farmer added.

Also speaking at the meeting was Dairygold nutritionist Liam Stack. He reportedly outlined that there are options out there for farmers to take – but these options can be expensive.

Stack highlighted options such as planting crops like rape or feeding increased levels of concentrates now to stretch whatever fodder farmers currently have.

Grass growth

Meanwhile, Walsh noted that while grass growth has been restricted in recent weeks, it is beginning to return to normal levels in certain parts of the country.

He urged farmers to carry out a fodder budgetary exercise and to start taking action if they identify a deficit.

Concluding, Walsh stressed that farmers must remain optimistic during this difficult period.

Things will come right; it is a stumbling block, but things will eventually recover and everybody is in this together.

He also encouraged farmers to keep in contact with one another and with their local farm organisations.