Saturday 15 September 2012
Sit down and tell me your troubles
All Teagasc advisory offices will host a weather crisis clinic next Thursday, Sept 6, between 11am and 1pm for all dairy farmers, and from 2pm to 4pm for all drystock and tillage farmers.
This is the second round of weather crisis clinics organised by Teagasc this summer to assist farmers with the ongoing difficulties.
"Now is the time to establish your fodder position. It is best to act sooner rather than later, and starting now will give you time to think through the options available for the winter ahead," said Teagasc dairy specialist Tom O’Dwyer.
A recent Teagasc survey on dairy and drystock farms showed that almost one third of dairy farms faced a shortage of fodder this winter.
"This is not the first time that farmers have been faced with a shortage of winter fodder. They dealt with a similar situation in 2009, and farmers will adapt again this year," Mr O’Dwyer said.
"However, the big difference this year is that the cost of feeding stock will be a lot higher, with concentrates now costing over €300 per tonne."
According to Teagasc, the lessons learned in 2009 included:
* Seek the advice of your Teagasc adviser, family and farming friends, weigh up your options and then take the steps necessary to secure adequate winter fodder.
* It is going to be more costly to keep stock over the coming winter. You may need to discuss this with your bank manager and feed merchant.
* Look at options to reduce winter feed costs, including the sale of non-essential stock before the winter — for example, cull cows.
* You are not alone in having to deal with this. Most farmers face the same problem of poor quality or scarce winter feed.
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