Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has directed the national fodder and food security committee to compile a “comprehensive” fodder inventory for the country, according to committee chair Mike Magan.
The fodder survey, under way in every county, will “get an idea of what’s on the ground” and the fodder in train, he said.
The committee, made up of farm stakeholders, hasn’t met since March with its next meeting only to be scheduled once the national fodder inventory is complete. Magan added that Minister McConalogue hasn’t set a deadline for the survey.
Despite suggesting that “the country is pretty full of bales”, Magan said there has to be concern that the current dry conditions will lead to fodder shortages.
“There is a stalemate now. Nothing is happening. Slurry is staying in the tanks. There’s a dilemma there. It’s a little bit of a conundrum.
“I don’t want to create a scare situation but at the same time it is very concerning. It’s gone from one [weather] extreme to the other,” he said.
Magan described how there may be regional differences in fodder availability next winter, with the southeast hardest hit.
“It’s an inevitability given the geography of the country. It’s soil type rather than weather at this stage,” he added.