Glanbia imports alfalfa to assist drought-stricken suppliers

Glanbia is understood to be in the process of importing alfalfa fodder to assist suppliers whose grass and fodder supplies are affected by the current drought conditions.

The group – which is Ireland’s largest milk processor – is bringing in the forage for suppliers who are hit hardest by the current heatwave and dry spell, which has led to grass growth being “practically non-existent” according to Met Eireann.

It is understood that alfalfa will only be a small part of the overall feed solution – soya hulls and other straights are much more significant for sustaining production.

The move follows the confirmation that current conditions will continue, with two Status Yellow weather warnings re-issued for most of the country by Met Eireann today.

With little or no rain forecast for most areas over the coming week, drought or near-drought conditions are expected to develop more widely across Ireland, Met Eireann has said.

To help farmers deal with drought conditions, Teagasc last week offered the following advice:
  • It is essential to hold rotation length at 20 days. If the platform is 100ac, graze 5ac/day;
  • Fill the feed gap with concentrates first (up to 6kg/cow/day) and silage thereafter;
  • Avoid running down farm cover by holding rotation length and entering the correct pre-grazing covers;
  • Farmers must be proactive rather than reactive in this situation. Walk the farm and assess growth and grass supply.

It is understood that further details will be made available from Glanbia later today.