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Teagasc Dairy Fodder Survey September 2022

Teagasc have completed an updated fodder survey based on 570 dairy clients nationally. This follows a similar exercise completed in early summer, when an average surplus of 119% was reported and 12% of dairy farmers were projected to be at risk of feed shortage.

Winter feed supplies tighten in east and south following summer drought

The updated data shows regional differences in feed supply. The BMW /midlands region is in the strongest position overall having been less affected by summer drought. The midlands/east and south east regions have 15-20% of farms now projecting a risk of significant feed shortage. This is the cumulative outcome of a more severe summer drought combined with a lower than average feed reserve (107% compared to national average of 119%). Indeed, 50% of farms in these regions have used more than 10% of winter feed during the summer. Across these regions and the South West, a further 25-30% of dairy farms have indicated tight, or marginal feed supply (80-100% of normal requirements). Over 60% of farms reported cost of baled silage at over €45 per bale regardless of quality.

Head of Dairy Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, Dr Joe Patton said: “While the national feed situation remains positive, feed stocks have diminished in southern and eastern counties. On farms with clearly identified shortages, prompt action is now needed. This includes sourcing additional fodder and reducing demand by earlier culling of lower value stock. The stated preference of the majority is to retain stock and purchase extra feed, however cost and availability will determine responses on individual farms. “

Dr Patton said; “There are also significant numbers of farms reporting a marginal position for feed.  We encourage these not to adopt a wait-and-see approach, but rather to take early steps to improve their feed security for the coming winter.”

Teagasc advisers are available nationwide to help with preparation of fodder budgets for individual farms.

Summary results based on 570 client farms surveyed 6th to 16th September.

  South WestBMW/North WestMidlands/EastSouth East
Silage - winter feed in stock        
>120% 23  47  17  21 
100 - 120% 36  41  40  38 
80 - 100% 30  10  24  26 
<80% 11  19  15 
Winter feed used in summer        
<10% 65  88  46  60 
10 - 20% 27  11  42  30 
>20% 10  10 
Will you sell stock early?        
No need 31  70  29  37 
No- will buy extra feed 39  18  44  42 
Yes - feed too expensive 26  12  20  19 
Yes - have to sell
Value of silage bale €/bale        
<35 12 
35 - 45 35  35  42  34 
45 - 55 42  40  42   
Over 55 22  13  16 


South West- Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare

South East - Tipp, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow

Midlands/East- Laois, Offaly, Kildare, Westmeath, Meath, Louth, Dublin, Wicklow

BMW/West- Longford, Connacht/Ulster