The knock-on effect of poor weather and a delayed silage season means that the current rush for first-cut silage is causing serious issues for contractors.
The Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors of Ireland (FCI) said it was seeking support from Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue, Teagasc and farm organisations to try to encourage farmers to keep cool heads as silage was being harvested.
FCI chief executive Michael Moroney said: “During the past week, the association has received many calls from many silage contractors who are being harassed by incessant telephone calls and messages in an effort to do the impossible, that is, to harvest grass in conditions that are unsuitable, unsafe and ultimately will lead to poor-quality animal feed for the housing period of winter 2021.”
The current frenzy to get first-cut grass silage harvested, driven by weather induced delays to the harvesting that are evident on many farms, is unprecedented
“Irish farm contractors are well equipped with modern, high-output and efficient machinery and have the skills to complete the grass silage harvest when weather conditions permit.
“The current frenzy to get first-cut grass silage harvested, driven by weather-induced delays to the harvesting that are evident on many farms, is unprecedented, by our FCI members.
“Many silage contractors have not experienced this level of constant pressure from their farmer clients in the past, as understandably each farmer’s priority is their own silage.”
Moroney assured farmers that contractors would get silage cut for them but said they needed to remain calm and also bear farm safety in mind.