Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Fodder demand eases

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

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.

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Closer to Athlone, €25/bale for both silage and hay was the price quoted.

A seller in Offaly said he had sold hay to Connemara, Claremorris and Castlebar at €30-35/bale, including delivery and depending on location.

In Roscommon, one seller quoted prices ranging from €15-30/bale for hay; with the higher price relating to top-quality sheep hay. Delivery to the west of the country pushed the price up to around €30-40/bale.

The seller added that demand for fodder was considerably quieter than a month ago and buyers were often asking for half loads instead of full loads.

Quotes in the south east are considerably lower than the midlands, with prices of €18-22/bale being asked for silage and haylage in Waterford.

Demand for straw is variable, with some sellers reporting strong prices on a par with hay and silage, but others reporting that Northern demand for straw was back on previous years.

Quotes from Offaly, north Tipperary and north Kildare ranged from €20-30/bale for barley and oaten straw.

Irish Independent