LIMERICK farmers are experiencing further difficulties after the fodder crisis decimated their cash flow and resulted in them falling behind in getting fertiliser out on pastures for much needed grass growth.
According to Fine Gael councillor for the Adare-Rathkeale Municipal District Adam Teskey, the bulk of fertiliser would normally be spread mid-March depending on ground and weather conditions. However, this year some farmland is still impassable due to the recent volumes of rain.
“We are now in a situation where we are playing catch up in order to get cattle out to pasture and to plan to restore silage reserves for the forthcoming winter. Farmers this year had to house cattle in September and some are still being housed. That’s a long winter by any means,” Cllr Teskey told the Limerick Post.
“Farmers are currently letting cattle out by day and in at night to avoid poaching on the land. Slurry is also becoming an issue with storage to full capacity in a lot of areas.”
Cllr Teskey, who is himself a dry stock beef farmer, went on to say that the recent bad weather was very extreme and farmers should not blame themselves for bad management. The current crisis, he insists, is purely down to bad weather.
“The Department of Agriculture will have to look at this situation in order to ensure that farming enterprises have sufficient fodder to feed their cattle but no one could have expected what has happened this year. I would encourage any farmer who is still in difficulty with feeding to contact the Department, the IFA or any representative.
“The last thing we want to see are animals starving,” he concluded.
by Alan Jacques