'This is the worst I’ve seen in 23 years' - Western farmers facing winter fodder crisis
A WINTER fodder crisis is looming in some parts of the country, farm advisors and feed merchants have warned.
Farmers in the north-west have already used a significant share of winter fodder.
Farm advisors and feed merchants are warning that variable silage quality, the restricted availability of straw, and increased cow numbers could cause difficulties for highly-stocked dairy farms.
Teagasc advisor Tom Coll said he had never seen ground conditions as bad in the north-west.
“This is the worst I’ve seen in 23 years in the advisory service. There are two inches of rain on top of ground at this stage.
“Land is just saturated,” said Mr Coll who works in Sligo, Leitrim and south Donegal.
While grass growth has been good in recent weeks because of high temperatures, farmers have been unable to get livestock out on grass because of the atrocious ground conditions.
Cattle have been housed in much of the north-west since early September, but Mr Coll said many farmers were now housing sheep because they were “walking grass covers into the ground”.