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National Fodder and Food Security Committee

The National Fodder and Food Security Committee (NFFSC) is tasked by government with preparing an industry response, contingency plans and advice to assist farmers in managing their farm enterprises through a period of high input price inflation and potential supply pressures. 

The inaugural meeting of the NFFSC took place on Friday March 11th, 2022 in Teagasc Moorepark. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD established the committee to ensure the sector can respond effectively and rapidly to a considerable challenge. Over 30 organisations were represented at the meeting. The commitee is chaired by Mike Magan. 


Press Release January 25th 2024

Farmers encouraged to carefully manage their winter-feed requirements

An online meeting of the National Fodder and Food Security Committee (NFFSC) took place on Wednesday, 24th January to update members on the livestock fodder and feed situation on farms. Challenges around the availability of straw was also a strong recurring message in the contributions from committee members. The meeting included updates from Teagasc on the situation from advisory feedback across both livestock and tillage sectors, as well as a growth update based on research and PastureBase Ireland data. Read full press release Farmers encouraged to carefully manage their winter-feed requirements

Presentations were made by:

Teagasc Livestock Knowledge Transfer specialists, Joe Patton and Pearse Kelly. They outlined how the fodder situation is relatively stable on both dairy and beef farms.

Head of the Grassland Research Department in Teagasc, Michael O’Donovan, presented the grass growth figures for 2023, which were in line with the 10-year average

Michael Hennessy, Head of Tillage Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc provided an update on the tillage crops in the ground over the winter, and the plans for spring planting.

All presentation can be accessed below. 

Teagasc Presentations to NFFSC January 24th 2024

NFFSC Update January 2024 (PDF)


Press Release July 19th 2023

Teagasc Fodder Survey July 2023

A Teagasc fodder survey conducted during late June/early July 2023 shows that nationally on average, dairy and drystock farms are on target for adequate winter fodder supplies after completion of first silage cuts. There is little variation between regions or scale of farm with enterprises. There were however, approximately 15% of dairy and drystock farms with less than 40% of their winter feed requirement on hand in July. 

Read full press release Teagasc Fodder Survey July 2023


Teagasc Presentations to NFFSC July 19th 2023

Fodder Survey Update (PDF)

Tillage Update (PDF)


Press Release April 17th, 2023 

Rebuilding fodder reserves is key priority for the months ahead

A challenging March has caused issues for dairy, drystock and tillage farmers, attendees heard at a recent meeting of the Fertiliser Sub-group of the National Food and Fodder Security Committee (NFFSC) in Teagasc Oak Park, County Carlow. Read full press release Rebuilding fodder reserves is key priority for the months ahead


Teagasc presentation to meeting of NFFSC - April 13th

On Thursday April 13th 2023 a presentation giving an update  and outlook on grass & fodder supply, fertiliser usage and current advisory activities on grassland and crops was given by Teagasc. Presentation below

NFFSC Meeting - Teagasc Update and outlook (PDF)


Proposal to the Department of Agriculture and Marine from the National Fodder and Food Security Committee - Supporting the tillage sector

29th July

NFFSC Tillage Proposal (pdf)


Teagasc presentation to fourth meeting of NFFSC – July 13th:

NFFSC Meeting 4 Fodder Sector Updates (pdf)

Fodder Survey Results July 2022 (pdf)


Teagasc presentation to third meeting of NFFSC - April 21st

An update on ongoing priority actions by Teagasc included the following:

  • Situation in the Pig Sector including the outlook for the sector
  • Poultry Sector update 
  • Tillage activities and results from the Tillage Survey
  • Summary of Drystock Survey and events update
  • Dairy sector update including events, silage situation, fertiliser use and management decisions

The presentation can be downloaded here Teagasc presentation to 3rd NFFSC Meeting on April 21 2022 (PDF)


Press Releases


Teagasc Advice and information for Farmers to Improve Food and Feed Security

Teagasc will deliver regularly updated advice to farmers including actions that can be taken to help mitigate the current volatile situation. 

This advice, recommended actions and further resources are available here - Food and Feed Security


Teagasc presentation to second meeting of NFFSC - March 22nd

The Teagasc presentation was an update on ongoing priority actions by Teagasc and included the following: 

  • An update on all enterprises since the March 11th meeting
  • Stakeholder feedback
  • Current and planned activities
  • Grass growth and farm cover from PastureBase Ireland

The presentation can be downloaded here Teagasc presentation to 2nd NFFSC Meeting March 22 2022 (PDF)


Fertiliser Surveys Summary

Drystock | TillageDairy |

Drystock (n=688) 

  • 28% of drystock farmers have bought no fertiliser to date
  • 43% are finding it difficult to get fertiliser delivered - 63% of these stating either the merchant cannot guarantee delivery or delivery will be delayed
  • 46% are paying 100% upfront for fertiliser - only 25% being given more than one months credit
  • 87% of drystock farmers plan on spreading less fertiliser on grazing ground - 10 – 30% reduction (43% of farmers) - 30 – 50% reduction (31% farmers)
  • Only 28% of drystock farmers plan on making more than 75% of their fodder for next winter in 1st cut silage
  • Farmers plan on spreading less fertiliser on silage ground - 10–20% reduction (37% of farmers), 20–30% reduction (23% of farmers), 30–50% reduction (15% of farmers)

Tillage - key messages (n=440)

Phosphorus & Potassium  Fertiliser

  • 69% have >75% of their P & K requirements for the season in stock or awaiting delivery. (41% all requirements)
  • 12% have less than 25% in stock or awaiting delivery. (4% none).

Nitrogen Fertiliser

  • 63% have >75% of their N requirements for the season in stock or awaiting delivery. (35% all requirements) - 13% have less than 25% in stock or awaiting delivery. (3% none)
  • 69% have made no changes to their cropping plans as a result of fertiliser supply/price. If changing – increasing beans, followed by spring oats
  • 72% have already used or plan to use organic manures this season - But unsure how much available or used
  • 31% plan no reduction to normal chemical fertiliser application this year - further 22% plan on a minimal 10 kg/ha reduction

Other issues

  • 55% said they would increase tillage area if more land became available
  • 39% said that access to additional credit is an issue this year

Dairy

  • Just over half have some fertiliser spread
  • ¾ have reduced application rates YTD
  • Almost half intend to spread less for silage ground
  • 60% are behind target on grazing ground
  • 1/3 have not yet purchased 50% of the year’s requirement


Teagasc presentation to first meeting of NFFSC - March 11th

Teagasc presented on the challenges facing the various sectors:

  • Pigs and Poultry
  • Arable and Horticulture
  • Drystock
  • Dairy

The presenttaion included an outline of the current situation in the various sectors. The financial situation and implications and the support that Teagasc can offer. 

The presentation can be downloaded here Teagasc presentation to first NFFSC Meeting (PDF)