independent

Monday 17 December 2018

Fodder crisis: praying for the rain to end

A relieved Banteer farmer, Eddie Taaffe, collects two bales of food for his 200 cattle at the Dairygold Branch in Millstreet where food was distributed to local farmers for their cattle which had been shipped in from the UK due to the shortage crisis after recent inclement weather. Picture: John Delea
A relieved Banteer farmer, Eddie Taaffe, collects two bales of food for his 200 cattle at the Dairygold Branch in Millstreet where food was distributed to local farmers for their cattle which had been shipped in from the UK due to the shortage crisis after recent inclement weather. Picture: John Delea

Maria Herlihy

Farmers across North and Mid Cork are under huge stress to get fodder and equally so to pay for it as fields continue to be battered by the inclement weather.

Billy Cotter, PRO of North Cork IFA, said the situation is verging on critical as farmers become increasingly stressed at the lack of growth. 

Citing several examples, he referred to one farmer who has " hundreds of cows" but didn't have silage since January - and his herd now requires 30 tonnes per day.  

"This is hugely costly for that farmer, not to mention the huge stress levels. Cattle haven't been able to graze as grass needs a chance to grow and there is no growth in this weather. It is really starting to verge towards the critical stage now," he said. 

"There is stress to get fodder and there is equally stress to pay for it," he added. 

Amongst the despair there has been support locally. Dara Bourke of Kilcorney was one of many farmers who travelled to Dairygold in Millstreet for fodder which was brought in from the UK. 

He said: "All the fields are waterlogged, we are feeding 112 milking cows, 80 calves and 60 bullocks and  even if the weather clears straight away, it will be at least another week before cattle can go out, so the bad weather is a real crisis." 

Boherbue Co-Operative CEO Declan O'Keeffe said it wasn't yet a crisis for them but was getting more critical as time went on.

"It will be at least two weeks really before it is solved with the weather. Even if it stops raining and there is growth you are talking about a week to 10 days." 

Liam Murphy, who is the Dairygold Manager at Millstreet said they are getting a delivery of between 30-40 bales per day but by the day's end they are all gone.

Corkman

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