Fears farmers are cashing in on 'dire' fodder shortage
Concerns have been raised that some farmers may be hiking prices for their surplus fodder to take advantage of an ongoing shortage in some parts of the country.
The cost of straw, hay and silage has doubled since the harvest as farmers in the Border counties and north-west struggle to secure fodder supplies.
The delivered charge for wheaten straw has hit €60-65 for 8x4x3 bales, with 4x4 bales making €35-40. These prices are 100pc higher than those available in early September.
The cost of good quality hay has also rocketed, with prices ranging from €38 to €42 for 4x4 bales, depending on the quality.
Supplies of barley straw have dried up and good quality wheaten straw is increasingly difficult to source.
In Clare, IFA county chairman Willie Hanrahan said he is still hoping to get fodder to farmers at a reasonable cost.
He said that he is trying to work with the supplies within the county. "If people have extra supplies we would be encouraging them to liaise with their neighbours and to supply fodder at a reasonable cost.
"It's a pity if people try to cash in on the situation and charge exorbitant prices of their neighbours," he said.