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Dublin: 7 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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Farmers' feed costs have exploded inside a year as fallout from hot weather bites

The summer heatwave has seen the price of fodder rise across the board.

shutterstock_1099939133 Source: Shutterstock/Slavko Sereda

THE COST OF fodder in parts of Ireland has surged as the toll of this summer’s extended hot weather has hit home.

A survey by online sales platform DoneDeal shows that the price of grass-based animal feed has surged across the board, with silage particularly badly affected.

The fodder crisis has been a topic of discussion for many months now, but the recent heatwave and general dry weather has now exacerbated the situation it seems.

This is a crisis for farmers,” said Adam Ferguson of DoneDeal.

The snow in spring followed by the extreme drought has made the production of hay, straw and silage extremely difficult and we’re seeing this now in these surging prices.

The website analysed the prices of over 5,000 adverts for bales of hay placed on it between June and July of this year versus the same months in 2017.

The price of silage has increased by 31% year-on year, while straw has risen to €24.02 a bale from €16.35 in 2017, a rise of 47%.

1 Cost of silage and straw bales 2017-2018 Source: DoneDeal

The crisis has affected Leinster farms in particular, with the cost of silage and hay bales jumping from €21.38 to €28.89 in the eastern province, a jump of 26%.

Connacht has been least affected, with prices moving from €24.58 to €25.71, an increase of just 4%.

At the moment we’re witnessing Spanish companies, who have identified the crisis, advertising Alfalfa and English straw on DoneDeal to Irish farmers,” said Ferguson.

“Encouraging trade in Ireland with the stock that we currently have in the country will help alleviate the problem,” he added, stating that all such ads on DoneDeal will be free until the end of August.

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