Helpline and drought clinics established for farmers

Teagasc has set up clinics and a helpline for farmers who want to speak to an advisor regarding options for feeding stock in the ongoing drought throughout the country.

Farmers can contact this help line at: 087-7971377 from 9:00am to 9:00pm each day.

The series of clinics and events will take place around the country to offer advice for farmers.

Chairman of the Interagency Fodder Group, Dermot McCarthy, Teagasc, said: ”Grass growth rate has declined to nil in parts of the south-east and on fields and farms in the south and midlands.

Given that the weather forecast indicates no significant rain for at least another week, it is important that farmers make best use of remaining grass supplies and make the best decisions regarding meal and silage supplementation.

Currently Teagasc and the interagency group are carrying out a fodder census to establish the levels of silage in pits.

Results are expected in the coming days but indications suggest that most farms had good yields of first cut silage. However silage pits are now being opened on many farms.

Teagasc is holding events throughout the country which will deal with fodder and feed management in the current drought.

At these local events, the financial and stress aspects of the drought will be discussed.

There will also be an opportunity for dairy farmers to discuss the options for managing through this drought period at the Teagasc/Glanbia Kildalton Open Source Sustainable Dairy Farm Open Day, tomorrow, Thursday July 5, in Co. Kilkenny.