Over the past number of weeks, farmers have had no option but to supplement their livestock at grass. This led to a surge in the demand for round feeders and feed troughs.

Normally – at this time of the year – manufacturers would be building up supplies of these products for the back end of the year. However, the drought has left farmers with no choice but to feed out winter fodder or meal.

Speaking to AgriLand, Martin McDonald – from Stradbally Town and Country – outlined that round feeders have been in high demand over the past weeks.

We were sold out at one stage and we got eight in one morning and two hours later they were all gone.

Martin highlighted that the real pressure came on three weeks ago. However, he noted that this demand has eased in recent days. He said: “Any farmer that was in the market for a feeder has got it now.”

Round feeder and meal trough manufacturers have also come under pressure. Speaking to AgriLand, PJ Fox – from Fox Brothers Engineering – highlighted that they have been very busy making these products over recent weeks – something which is out of the norm for this time of year.

“Normally, there would be a demand for these products in October or November, but – this year – there is an exception. The pressure came on around June and, once it started, orders came thick and fast – especially for round feeders,” he explained.

There is wide variation in prices quoted for round feeders. These range from €190-240/feeder.