Farm Ireland
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Wednesday 19 September 2018

Drought helpline established for farmers as grass growth falls to practically nil

Met Éireann has issued yet another high-temperature warning as temperatures are expected to reach high 20s across 14 counties today.
Met Éireann has issued yet another high-temperature warning as temperatures are expected to reach high 20s across 14 counties today.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Teagasc has set up a helpline for farmers who want to speak to an advisor regarding options for feeding stock given the continuing decline in grass growth rates throughout the country.

Chairman of the Interagency Fodder group, Dermot McCarthy, Teagasc, said grass growth rate has declined to nil in parts of the south east and on individual fields and farms in the south and midlands. 

"Given that the weather forecast indicates no significant rain for at least another week, it is important that farmers make best use of remaining grass supplies and make the best decisions regarding meal and silage supplementation.”

Farmers can contact this help line at 087- 7971377 from 9am to 9pm each day. There are also a series of clinics and events taking place around the country where advice will be available for farmers.

Currently Teagasc and the interagency group are carrying out a fodder census to establish the levels of silage in pits which was meant for feeding next winter. 

Results are expected within days but indications are that most farms had good yields of first cut silage. 

Unfortunately, however silage pits are now being opened on many farms.

Teagasc are also holding events throughout the country which will deal with fodder and feed management in the current drought. 

At these local events the financial and social/stress aspects of this drought will be discussed.

Met Éireann has issued yet another high-temperature warning as temperatures are expected to reach high 20s across 14 counties today.

The Status Yellow warning was issued at 4pm on Tuesday afternoon and comes into effect on Wednesday at 2pm, remaining in place until 7pm that evening.

The counties affected include Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath, Meath, Galway, Leitrim, Roscommon, Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.

Temperatures are expected to hit highs of 27 or 28 degrees.

With no significant rainfall forecast over the next five days, a Status Yellow drought warning remains in place. 

The drought warning is in effect until July 6 – though farmers and livestock owners are worried it could be extended further.

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