Demand for water troughs on the rise as drought continues

The drought that has hit Ireland has affected farmers in many different ways. Little or no grass growth has left farmers with no other option but to feed bales or open up silage pits; it has also interfered with water systems.

Therefore, there has been an increased demand for water troughs and feeding troughs. AgriLand caught up with John Murphy – from Murphy Concrete – to see how business has been.

The Wexford-based company provides products for the agricultural sector including: drinking troughs; feed troughs; and bunker silage walls.

John outlined that a real surge for water troughs began during the first dry spell (April/May) of this year.

“Originally we had a waiting period – for large water troughs – of approximately two weeks, but this has now been extended to four weeks,” John explained.

“We would have had an adequate build up of products around February, but we are back to a manufacture to order basis now,” he added.

John – who supplies water troughs to all farming enterprises – highlighted that it is the larger dairy farmers that have come under the most pressure.

“We’ve had regular customers who originally would have purchased five new troughs every year; these farmers are now ordering 10. We’ve also had a lot of new customers,” he added.

Murphy Concrete also supplies Co-ops in the west and north-west of the country and these businesses have also witnessed an increase in sales.

John noted that some dairy farmers are even purchasing water troughs to place in the middle of paddocks and are filling them up from tankers daily.

Farmers thinking of installing new water troughs need to look at trough size, pipe size and valve size. They also have to position troughs in the correct position, he noted.

John also explained that many farmers are now looking into storage tanks to store water from wells and roofs; these can be used as a back up.

The Wexford-based company also supplies concrete feed troughs. He noted that demand for these items doesn’t normally start until September. However, there is a steady demand for these items at present.

The cost

The cost of a 240 gallon, concrete water trough stands at €300 (including VAT); this quote is for a top-fill tank. A 240 gallon tank – that is filled from the bottom – costs €290 (including VAT).

These troughs, John said, would be suitable for a dairy herd of approximately 120 cows.