Categories: World

Severe weather conditions exacerbate Irish fodder crisis

After a long and extremely wet winter, farmers in Ireland are being faced with a fodder crisis, as they do…

This was due to the fact that the severe winter weather had resulted in limited grass growth.

The Irish Minister of agriculture food and marine, Michael Creed, recently allocated €1,5 million (about R22 million) in funds for a fodder import support measure, which is the first time such a measure had been needed since the spring of 2013.

READ Consumers must be informed about dairy substitute drinks

The intention was to import up to 20 000t of fodder to alleviate the crisis.

According to a report in The Irish Times, thousands of farmers have had to keep livestock indoors far longer than usual and were now running low on available feed in the form of dried hay, silage or wheaten straw.

“Poor grass growth because of cold weather and wet conditions in fields due to huge rainfall has meant that farmers who are already under pressure for fodder have had to keep their animals indoors at a time when they should be out on grass,” Irish Farmers’ Association president Joe Healy said in the same report.

READ Dexter cattle: Ideal for meat and dairy

Ireland was now looking to the UK, France and Spain for fodder imports to ensure the survival of the herds.

According to Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Patrick Kent: “Cash flow is a significant issue for suckler and sheep farmers and with virtually no fodder left to move around the country, meal vouchers to supplement fodder are now essential to alleviate the hardship.”

This crisis had been further aggravated by high deaths tolls resulting from winter-related diseases such as pneumonia, he said.

Farmers also blamed the crisis on the push for rapid expansion of the dairy industry in Ireland that resulted from the abolishment of milk quotas in 2015 (which was heavily supported by the EU), without sufficient government support strategies to support the increased growth.

Commenting on the crisis, a beef farmer near Cork, Richard Hyde, said: “This is the wettest winter/spring ever in my recollection during my 40 years of farming.”

Recent Posts

Learn about beef BLUP basics

Producers use breeding values to determine the long-term value of certain animals to their herds.

5 hours ago

Rethinking sustainable development

Growing awareness of the interconnectedness between water, energy and food security is resulting in a more holistic way of measuring…

1 day ago

Taking steak to the next level

Steak can be cooked and served in a variety of ways, but this Asian-inspired marinade can turn even the tastiest…

1 day ago

Land: access vs ownership

The one crucial point that should not be forgotten by all the organisations and political parties representing, or claiming to…

2 days ago

Agri interventions key to Ramaphosa’s economic stimulus package

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that government has reprioritised funding towards an economic stimulus package that would focus on agriculture, among…

3 days ago

Biosecurity: your first line of defence against disease

Dr Fambies van Biljon, veterinarian at Sovereign Foods, talks to Glenneis Kriel about the crucial need to establish a well-run…

3 days ago

This website uses cookies.