Farmers urged to participate in fodder audit
Teagasc is spearheading a national fodder census to assess the potential forage deficit on farms for the winter of 2013/2014.
Every farmer in the country is being encouraged to fill out a fodder census form next Tuesday, July 1. The census form is printed here (left).
The aim of the census is to help farmers identify any potential fodder problem on their farm as early as possible and then tackle the issue head-on.
Teagasc nutritionist Siobhan Kavanagh said experience had shown that farmers who fared best in the fodder shortage of last spring had been those who acted early to preserve scarce silage stocks during the winter.
Early indications are that the country could be as much as 30pc short of fodder next winter and all farmers are being advised to increase their stocks by 10-20pc above normal.
When the form, left, is completed, farmers will know whether they will have a shortage or surplus of silage.
Teagasc advisers and private agricultural consultants are available to help farmers to fill out the census forms, if necessary.