Drystock farms in the west and northwest are starting to come under pressure for fodder, the National Fodder and Food Security Committee heard during a meeting on Tuesday 9 April.

There is less silage on farms now since the previous meeting of the committee 10 days ago, with more silage moving from farm to farm, Teagasc said in its presentation to the meeting.

There has still been no chance for drystock farmers to get fertiliser spread since the last meeting on either grazing or silage ground.

As a result, first-cut silage yields, Teagasc argued, are inevitably going to be hit.

Full tanks

"All slurry tanks are now fuller – becoming a real problem on a lot of farms with nowhere to spread this slurry," Teagasc said.

On some drystock farms, Teagasc added that silage ground is going to be grazed for a second time, as grass utilisation across farms is very poor. This, it said, will also affect silage yields.

These farmers need the weather forecast for later this week and next week to remain dry, Teagasc maintained.

Farms practicing limited access grazing are doing relatively well

Meanwhile, the situation on dairy farms is that grass supply is good, but access is the issue, according to Teagasc.

Farmers are trying hard to get cows to grass whenever possible through on-off grazing and farms that are practicing limited access grazing are doing relatively well, according to Teagasc.

Teagasc told the meeting that from an advisory point of view, supporting dairy farmers to get grazing or restart grazing is their priority.

Teagasc highlighted slurry storage issues, how slurry and chemical nitrogen applications are still delayed and how cow performance has been affected as a result of reduced milk output in 2024.

The affects on performance, according to Teagasc, is down to lack of grass in the diet, which is causing the protein percentage of milk to drop.

However, Teagasc has seen good recovery appearing in terms of regrowths on February-grazed paddocks.

There have, Teagasc added, been limited queries from dairy farmers to their advisers on fodder issues to date.


There are two helplines for farmers now in place, which are open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 9pm.

Farmers can ring Teagac's crop helpline on 059-918 3533 and its grassland helpline on 059-918 3155.

The lines are open for the next two weeks to all farmers seeking advice in coping with the ongoing wet weather and challenging soil conditions.

A fodder register has also been set up by Teagasc to help connect farmers who have fodder available with those farmers who require


Farmers can contact their local Teagasc office to register as having feed available or to enquire if there are farmers on the register from whom they might source feed .