Fod­der prices surge in the north and west

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS - CLAIRE FOX

AN east-west di­vide is emerg­ing on silage and hay bale prices.

Henry O’Don­nell of the Ir­ish Natura and Hill Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (INHFA) said the wet weather con­di­tions had im­pacted on grass qual­ity and would drive up fod­der prices in the west and north.

“It was a wet Au­gust, even aside from the flood­ing, so I can imag­ine it would be high. Rain has done a lot of dam­age to grass. We’re hav­ing to house our suck­ler cows and so are plenty of oth­ers. It’s mak­ing the win­ter longer for farm­ers,” he said.

Leitrim-based Tea­gasc ad­vi­sor Tom Coll also pointed out that farm­ers have al­ready be­gun eat­ing into their re­serves for stock, with silage bales at around €25 for a round bale. In Mil­ford, Co Done­gal prices of €30 per 4x4 silage bale were be­ing quoted, while in Gal­way prices stood at €25-27 and in Kerry prices run from €22-25.

How­ever, drier weather con­di­tions in the east of the coun­try mean farm­ers in Wex­ford, West­meath, Laois and Kilkenny are strug­gling to sell their 4x4 round silage bales for €20/bale.

Pat Kennedy, from Pal­las­green, Co Lim­er­ick said there was good de­mand for his higher-priced larger hay bale which ranged from €30-32/4x6 round bale and in­cluded de­liv­ery to neigh­bour­ing coun­ties.

“They’re a 4x4 bale but the Fu­sion baler seems to make them a lot big­ger at about 4x6,” he said.

In Mayo, stocks of 4x4 hay bales were fetch­ing €35/bale.

Mean­while, Michael O’Dono­van from Tea­gasc Moorepark said good growth rates and less rain­fall are linked to the lack of de­mand in the south and east.

“There’s been a growth rate of 73kg at the mo­ment and that’s great for the au­tumn,” he said. “Dairy farm­ers in the south and east are in a good scenario and can have their cows out graz­ing. There’ s not as much de­mand down here for hay and silage bales. We’ve good growth and have had much less rain­fall than the west.”

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