IFA President John Bryan said the improvement in ground conditions this week should allow some of the backlog of work on farms to be cleared and fertiliser spread for the prospect of grass growth next week with higher temperatures expected.
John Bryan said, “The month of March was one of the coldest on record and farmers now need to push ahead with the spreading of fertiliser and the sowing of crops. The warmer weather that is predicted from next week-end on should finally see the start of grass growth, after a difficult and costly winter for farm families”.
The IFA President repeated his call to farmers to carry out an assessment of what fodder they have, and to make any surplus available to neighbours who are short. “Even with grass growth around the corner, the pressure is still on farmers in some parts of the country who are running low on supplies. There has been a very good response from within the farming community in recent weeks, and this should continue.”
John Bryan reminded co-ops, feed mills and banks of their obligation to support their farmer customers and do everything to ensure adequate feed and cashflow is provided. “Commodity prices in dairy, beef and lamb look set to remain strong for the year and farmers will use the improvement in their cashflow situation to clear their accounts.”
IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey, who heads up the IFA Project Team on fodder, said he has been in contact with Teagasc and IFA officers around the country on the matter. “The clear advice is to get some stock out as soon as ground conditions allow, and supplement them with concentrates at grass.”
He urged farmers who are under pressure to contact their Teagasc adviser, their local IFA officer or a neighbour to discuss their difficulties. “There is assistance available to farmers who need help, and nobody should be afraid to seek out support.”