Teagasc issues advice for dairy farmers struck by grass and fodder shortage
Published 02/03/2010 | 05:00
Grass and fodder shortages across the country have prompted Teagasc to issue advice to dairy farmers struggling to cope with the grass deficit.
Poor grass supply has hit dairy farms this spring, with below-normal grass growth rates and quicker grazing of paddocks.
"Some farmers have up to 50pc of their farms grazed at this stage, when the target is 30pc," said Teagasc expert John Maher.
"The next target is to have approximately 60pc grazed by St Patrick's Day, and it is important to stick to these targets.
"The remainder of the grazing area must be budgeted out from now until early April."
The expert advised that, depending on April growth rates, farmers should be flexible in closing the silage ground.
They should also aim to include grazed grass in the cows' diet every day and fill the gap with silage and/or meals.
Supplementation rates would depend on the quantity of grass being consumed, Teagasc nutrition expert Siobhan Kavanagh advised.