He pointed out that Grange got just 10mm of rain so far in June, compared to an average for the month of 70mm.
With serious soil moisture deficits reported in Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, grass growth has collapsed. Waterford-based Teagasc advisor Brian Hilliard said grass growth this week was likely to be in the 25-35kg/ha/day range and dropping.
He said farmers were already feeding silage bales and some were even considering opening silage pits.
Dairy farmers and beef farmers are also offloading cull cows and additional beef stock in an effort to reduce demand for grass.
An exceptionally big sale in New Ross on Saturday saw a lot of beef cattle from the dairy herd being sold, mart auctioneer Jim Bushe said.
Big sales were also reported in both Delvin Mart and Kilkenny Mart.
Although mart managers reported a steady cattle trade, Ringside data confirms that prices for plain stock were back 13-15c/kg, or around €70-80/hd.
Fears of further fodder shortages this winter have resulted in a frenzy of forward buying from tillage farmers.
Bobby Miller of the Irish Grain Growers Group (IGGG) said that 8x4x3 bales of barley straw had been forward sold for €44/bale, while wheaten straw is making €42/bale.
He said 4x4 bales are generally making €20 ex-field.
Mr Miller also maintained that some tillage growers had been approached by dairy farmers to sell cereals for whole-cropping.
Meanwhile, the warm weather is also impacting on tillage crops.
Potato crops along the east coast are being irrigated, while many late-sown cereal crops and beans are struggling.
Pat Minnock said late-sown spring barley crops were "short and thin" and the outlook for yields didn't look great.
"How bad is it? Nobody knows," he said.
Growers in east Cork report that late-sown spring barley is “losing tillers and in a bad state”. Crops of beans and beet that were planted late are also said to be struggling.
In contrast, the outlook for winter crops is better, with the harvest likely to be around 10 days earlier than normal. Growers in Cork report that the winter barley cutting could start there around July 10.
With soaring temperatures forecast for the remainder of the week, Denis Drennan, chairman of the ICMSA Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, called on Irish Water to communicate “early and frequently” with people in the event of there being water shortages or restricted supplies.
“Water shortages are a huge issue for everyone, including farmers, and from a dairy farmer perspective, having adequate water supplies for our cows is a key animal welfare issue,” Mr Drennan said.
“The basic minimum need for a dairy cow is 120 litres per animal per day and that has to be available or the animals become distressed – we’re not talking in terms of milk production here; we’re talking about looking after the cows and our legal and practical obligations to do that.
“ICMSA know of farmers in Kilkenny who are paying in excess of €4,000 per annum in water charges who have now been told that there may be issues with their water supply.”
Mr Drennan said water supplies to farmers must be guaranteed.
An Irish Water spokesperson said arrangements would be put in place for farmers who are dependent on the public water supplies. Farmers with large numbers of livestock would be deemed “vulnerable customers” and alternate arrangements would be made where normal water supplies were restricted.