Almost one in 10 dairy farmers are facing a fodder deficit of over 20% and farmers are being urged to take advantage of the current grass growth to take additional cuts of silage.

Figures from Teagasc’s fodder survey in July show that the majority of farmers had a comfortable amount of fodder stored in advance of winter housing.


However, some concerns were noted, with 9% of dairy farms having a deficit greater than 20% of winter requirements. The average deficit on these farms was 85t of dry matter.

Some 12% of drystock farmers were facing a deficit greater than 20%, with an average deficit of 33t.

Teagasc warned that traditionally farms with over 20% deficit face more problems in periods of extreme weather fluctuation.

“Grass growth is good at present, so farmers should take the opportunity to bolster feed reserves by taking out surplus silage, in line with grass cover targets for this time of year,” Micheal O’Leary of Teagasc PastureBase said.

The survey was completed using information gathered from almost 700 winter fodder budgets for drystock and dairy farmers nationwide.

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