Fodder demand eases
Demand for fodder has eased slightly with the onset of better weather and the promise of grass in the coming weeks.
But fodder prices have been maintained in most areas, although there are signs of price reductions in regions where hay and silage are plentiful.
Higher than normal cattle slaughterings have also impacted on the demand for fodder, with many cattle finished earlier than usual after being fed grain over the winter.
Financial pressure has also contributed to the higher kill, with farmers deciding to off-load animals rather than pay for expensive fodder.
Quotes for fodder in the west continue to range between €25-30/bale for hay and silage, as farmers are still tight on supplies. However, there is not a lot of movement of fodder yet.
Teagasc cattle expert Liam Fitzgerald predicted that next month would be crunch time for fodder supplies in the region.
In Kildare, one seller was quoting €25 for 4x4 round bales of hay and silage collected. He said farmers were only buying as they needed it.
Another seller in the Kildare area quoted €30/bale for 4x4 round bales of hay and €25/bale for silage.