Glanbia Ireland support for farmers dealing with the challenging spring

Grass growth for the year to date has averaged just 560kg/ha (dry matter), which is less than half of the long-term average of 1,200kg/ha. The winter has proven to be very long and very challenging for all farmers.

Glanbia chairman Henry Corbally said: “We are very conscious that the prolonged winter and tough spring is having a significant impact on farmers and their animals.

“Our business managers have helped numerous farmers arrive at solutions and we would encourage any farmer with issues to contact us immediately.”

To help farmers deal with the challenges, Glanbia announced a support payment of €50/t on all ruminant feed purchased by Glanbia Co-op members during the month of April.

This payment will be made in addition to all other previously announced schemes, such as the 2018 Trading Bonus Scheme.

The €50/t is available to Glanbia Co-op members for all manufactured ruminant feed including:

  • Dairy feed;
  • Beef feed;
  • Sheep feed;
  • Calf feed and calf milk replacer.

The €50/t is also available on purchases of straights with the capability to act safely as a silage stretcher, limited to:

  • Beet pulp nuts;
  • Citrus pulp;
  • Soya hulls.

Body condition score is crucial for the breeding season

According to GAIN animal nutritionist, Martin Ryan, the major challenges facing producers for the remainder of the month is stretching any available forage (grass or silage) supplies and maintaining/improving cow body condition before the breeding season.

View the video with Martin Ryan explaining feeding options below.

“We cannot be sure when grass growth will match or exceed demand or when grazing conditions will allow proper utilisation.

It is critical to allow grass cover to build as any premature grazing (below a farm cover of 500kg/ha) will reduce future grass growth by circa 30% and extend the pain.

“We must also work to close off silage ground and make a concerted effort throughout the year to replenish preserved forage stocks and rebuild a buffer as a safety measure for the future.

“Soya hulls or citrus pulp may be used as a silage replacer; but beet pulp is a better choice (being intermediate in protein) with the uncertainty around grass availability and grazing conditions. 1kg of these high-fibre feeds will replace 5kg of silage.”

Martin Ryan also advised that any changes to the diet are made gradually. Click here for more information