Feed prices being paid by farmers vary by as much as €135/t for the same ration, an Irish Farmers Journal price survey has revealed.
Cavan was home to the most expensive finishing ration in the country at €505/t and was also home to the cheapest ration at €370/t.
Based on farmers’ responses to the survey, the average price being paid for finishing ration nationally is €433/t. Leinster farmers reported paying €430/t and Munster farmers are paying €433/t, while Connacht farmers are paying €441/t.
The border counties of Monaghan, Cavan and Donegal appear to be the cheapest areas to buy finishing ration in – at €423/t – while prices north of the border are averaging at £364 (€414/t).
Weanling ration is averaging out at €441/t, again with a big range in price across the country.
In Galway, weanling ration can be bought at €385/t, while in Westmeath it is costing €485/t.
Lamb ration is also coming in at €441/t, with a range of €450-€480/t reported. Meath looks to be the source of the cheapest lamb ration, at €370/t, while Wexford came in the dearest at €510/t.
Frustration about ration prices
While volumes fed on drystock farms will be small from now on, farmers are frustrated at the lack of movement in ration prices given the reductions that have taken place in raw material prices over the last few months.
In many cases, merchants and millers have been slow to pass any reductions on to farmers.
Some smaller mills may still be clearing 2022 supplies bought at high prices but, given the record volumes of ration sales which took place in March 2023, many are now working off raw material at lower prices.