The challenges facing farmers this year in terms of fertiliser availability and the rapidly escalating costs have been well documented.
It’s an issue that is not going away any time soon and the fear is that it could potentially linger into next season.
At this stage, it’s unlikely we’ll see prices return to 2020 levels within the next nine months, but who knows.
Against this backdrop, it’s important that farmers act prudently when making fertiliser decisions in 2022.
Farmers who have silage stocks built up have done so in order to have a buffer in the event of an extreme weather event like 2018
Any decisions around cutting production, be it stock numbers or the number of acres cut for silage, should be taken carefully.
I’m not saying it’s not the right thing to do, but it needs to be the right thing to do over the next couple of years.
Farmers who have silage stocks built up have done so in order to have a buffer in the event of an extreme weather event like 2018.
As the saying goes, old hay is old gold and I would be slow to eat into this buffer just because fertiliser prices are high. If you do eat into reserves, the risk is that you could be exposed if there is another severe weather event before you get the opportunity to rebuild silage stocks.
We also take a look back at the questions and answers that were given during the Irish Farmers Journal fertiliser and slurry webinar, which was held last week as part of our spring webinar series.
The importance of making greater use of slurry, making sure soil pH is on target and making use of clover, were all discussed.