Farmers Journal weekly podcast: Publication of CAP payments, weather and Bloom
Listen to discussion from the newsdesk on the release of individual payment details, find out about weather impact on silage and sprays and hear from Country Magazine's winning Bloom garden.

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In this week's podcast, Irish Farmers Journal news correspondents Patrick Donohoe and Pat O'Toole examine the reaction to the publication of CAP payments received by farmers.

Reporter Thomas Hubert pays a visit to Co Cavan silage contractor and machinery enthusiast Wesley Strong, who says he is two weeks behind as a result of cold and rainy conditions.

Tillage editor Andy Doyle says sprays on winter crops have worked well despite the "awkward weather" and shares some tips from the Sprays supplement for crops and grassland alike.

And Klara Heron tells Irish Country Living's Ciara Leahy all about Irish Country Magazine's gold-winning garden at Bloom 2015.

Listen to each item separately:

Missed the previous episodes of the podcast? Catch up below!

Episode 9: Deadlines for payments applications

Episode 8: Agribusiness Report launch and Balmoral voices

Balmoral Show special - Irish Farmers Journal business briefing

Episode 7 - 13 May 2015: Spring breeding and focus on Northern Ireland

Episode 6 - 6 May 2015: Weather, fertilisers, blogger and harvesters

Episode 5 - 29 April 2015: New beef scheme and blackcurrant rebirth

Episode 4 - 22 April 2015: Farm safety and crop growth update

Episode 3 - 15 April 2015: GLAS, Ornua results and social welfare entitlements

Episode 2 - 8 April 2015: Markets for Irish beef

Episode 1 - 31 March 2015: End of milk quotas

Farmers facing 30% fodder shortfall
A winter fodder deficit has been highlighted by Teagasc, with farmers warned to take action now.

There is an estimated 28% shortfall in national winter fodder stocks, according to Teagasc.

Dry conditions and a deterioration in national grass growth to 25kg DM/ha has meant that many farmers have been forced to feed first-cut silage and graze silage ground.

A Teagasc fodder survey of over 1,000 farmers has identified regional differences, with grass growth figures in the west of the country up to four times higher than parts of the east and southeast.

Co-ops have also noted a significant regional difference with Glanbia and Dairygold reporting member fodder deficits of 30% and 25% respectively.

The weather situation is at crisis point for producers

Both co-ops are providing interest-free credit schemes for their members for feed and fertiliser during the drought period, and Lakeland Dairies is running a series of fodder workshops.

Aurivo has reduced the input costs of a range of feed and fertiliser.

In contrast, LacPatrick and Kerry are monitoring the drought situation but have not reported concerns about winter supplies.

The ongoing drought has had an impact on farmers from every sector, with milk collections reportedly back in places and tillage farmers reporting reduced yields.

Replenish stocks

Teagasc have called on farmers to take action now to replenish fodder stock and avoid a repeat of the recent fodder crisis by looking at alternative feed sources.

It is estimated that approximately 18,000t of fodder was imported during the shortage this spring.

By comparison, 40,000t was imported under the Fodder Import Transport Scheme in 2013, with €2.8m issued to importers at that time.

Members of the Fodder Stakeholder Group will be presented with the Teagasc fodder survey results on Thursday in Tullamore, and IFA president Joe Healy has called on the group to put resources in place to help farmers tackle the shortfall. The weather situation is at crisis point for producers, and urgent action was required, he said.

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Dairy management: when to cull cows

Sudden drop in SMP sales from intervention
It may have to do with the summer break, but demand for skimmed milk powder (SMP) released out of the EU's intervention stocks fell significantly in this week's tender.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that results of the latest sale to be published by the European Commission on Friday show just 2,408t of intervention SMP found a buyer this week.

This is 10 times less than the previous monthly sale on 19 June, when 23,532t were sold. In May, the volumes sold were much higher, just under 42,000t.

Offers rejected

Offers came in for 27,768t, showing a 100,000t drop in demand since May's record sale. Although European experts lowered the minimum price accepted to €1,125/t, most offers fell below this threshold and were rejected.

The minimum price was €1,195/t last month and €1,155 in May. This compares with a market price of €1,520/t for fresh SMP in Europe at the moment.

To date, the EU has sold just over 100,000t of the intervention stockpiles accumulated between 2015 and 2017, with 300,000t of SMP remaining in storage.

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Dairy trends: European Commission to ramp up SMP sales