The phrase ‘make hay while the sun shines’ certainly comes to mind right now with the long-awaited arrival of summer temperatures seeing farmers out saving hay and silage for the winter months ahead.
With a lot of farmers looking at a second and maybe even a third cut, do they have sufficient fodder for the winter ahead?
This year has seen the government introduce a Fodder Support Scheme, to tackle the threat of a fodder crisis.
The scheme incentivises and supports farmers to grow sufficient grass and conserve sufficient fodder for the 2022 winter, reducing the risk of animal welfare issues.
The scheme is open to farmers who:
- Submitted a BPS application in 2022 and;
- Not, as of May 16th, 2022, in a milk supply contract.
According to the DAFM, grassland declared on the applicant’s 2022 BPS is eligible for the scheme.
Grassland is defined as BPS parcels containing:
- Arable silage(grass);
- Grass silage;
- Grass years 1-5;
- Grass year 1-5 Multi-Species Sward;
- Permanent pasture;
- Permanent pasture MSS;
- Red clover;
- Traditional hay meadow.
Good quality fodder
The emphasis on getting good quality fodder for the winter months is at an all-time high.
To help farmers decide if they need another cut of silage, to purchase extra fodder or even sell any excess fodder they may have, Herdwatch has created a simple solution for farmers to calculate the amount of fodder they will need this winter based on their herd size, ages etc.
This calculator is FREE for all farmers to use and can be found at this link.
You can enter all your winter feed you have so far, such as pit silage, silage bales, hay bales, straw bales, maize silage, whole crop cereal and fodder crops.
This will convert to its equivalent value in tonnes of silage and tell you if you have enough or not.