The improvement in weather and ground conditions has been welcomed by Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, but he also warned of the need for continued careful budgeting by farmers of remaining fodder stocks.
“After a very wet winter period this year, the improvement in this week’s weather should lead to an improvement in ground conditions,” he said in a statement this morning.
“On drier ground, this will allow some field work to be carried out and provide opportunities to reduce pressure on slurry storage tanks and to apply some early fertiliser.”
In all areas of the country, rainfall has been well above the long-term average and in many areas this winter has been the wettest since records began. According to the department, this has posed significant challenges for farmers trying to manage out-wintered livestock and in particular to manage slurry storage facilities.
The minister added: “Farmers have been very proactive in recent years, putting in place improved slurry storage facilities and managing these effectively over what has been a very difficult period. This is very positive from an environmental point of view and underlines our green credentials.”
The minister, however, continued to highlight the need for budgeting of remaining fodder stock and he has asked his officials to liaise with Teagasc on an ongoing basis and provide fortnightly updates.
Concluding the Minister said “fodder reserves remain available within the country but it is critical that stocks are well managed and stretched as much as possible and I would continue to urge farmers to carry out on-going budgeting of fodder supplies”.