Sell-off of imported livestock fodder

Alfalfa was fed on many Irish farms for the first time last winter.

Dairygold Co-op has offered farmers who buy 25 tonnes of alfalfa a €1,000 voucher for ruminant compound feed.

Imports of alfalfa were welcomed last year after the drought left farmers short of feed, but ideal autumn and spring weather followed, which allowed farmers replenish silage stocks, and much of the alfalfa imported from countries like France, Spain and Italy wasn’t needed.

However, farmers can now get hold of this high-quality feed and earn a bonus in the co-op’s limited-volume offer which is available in May only.

Alfalfa was fed on many farms for the first time last winter.

According to Dairygold nutritionists, trials comparing it to grass silage demonstrated improvements of 2.3kg in diet dry matter intake, and 1.7kg in milk yield.

It has a naturally high buffering capacity, which means that diets containing alfalfa are less likely to cause acidosis.

The alfalfa sourced by Dairygold was mechanically dried, so higher intakes than for field dried material are likely.

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