Further fodder census scheduled for early September

Members of the Teagasc-led Inter-Agency Fodder Committee met earlier today to discuss the key findings from the fodder census, which was completed in late June / early July.

As part of the exercise, over 1,000 farmers from across a range of enterprises were surveyed. Results of this survey showed a deficit of 18% nationally.

The variation across regions varied from a 12% deficit in Roscommon, Longford, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal and up to a 30% deficit in parts of west Cork.

Also Read: Census results: Estimates of national fodder deficit now at 28%

According to Dr. Siobhan Kavanagh – who oversaw the census – if it is assumed that half of the second cut has been consumed, Teagasc estimates that the national fodder deficit is now 28%.

Average winter feed demand from the survey was 740t per farm. Therefore, a deficit of 28% equates to a deficit of 207t of silage per farm. The deficit ranges from 5% to 50% on individual farms.

To follow up on these findings and to get a clearer picture of the fodder situation on farms nationally, Teagasc – along with members of the committee – plan on repeating the exercise in early September.

‘Phone calls morning, noon and night’

Meanwhile, Teagasc is receiving phone calls “morning, noon and night” in light of the fodder shortage that’s gripping farms across the country, Teagasc’s Dermot McCarthy said.

The Teagasc head of advisory services said: “We are inundated with phone calls from clients and non-clients.

“At this stage, we have to seriously talk about what we are going to do going forward because we are facing into an unprecedented winter due to two disasters – the winter/spring and the drought.”