Farm fodder crisis - Too many cows?

The fodder difficulties facing some farmers are serious and a sympathetic response seems appropriate. However, some questions that may provoke unfounded charges of anti-farmer bias should be asked before the Government chequebook is waved about.

According to IFA figures the national dairy herd stands at something around 1.4m animals, 300,000 of which joined the herd since milk quotas ended in March 2015. That’s almost a 20% increase in three years and raises the question — is this an over-stocking problem or a fodder problem?

Has there, in the last three years, been a 20% increase in fodder production? 

In addition, which other sectors so successfully turn to the Government for support when adverse weather hits their businesses? What actually would be achieved — a response to a near-annual fodder crisis or the perpetuation of a culture of dependency on taxpayer subsidy?

Most farmers would ask similar questions if the situation was reversed. They would be daft not to.

More on this topic

146-acre West Cork farm offers varied possibilities

Teams from 13 countries to take part in European Ploughing Championships in Wexford

Cormac MacConnell: It’s an ill wind that blows no good...

How Article 50 filibuster could plunge us into no-deal smugglers’ paradise

More in this Section

The tiniest of cracks are appearing in Blue machine

Brexit’s spitting rhetoric comes up against reality

Crimea: West still plays ‘occupied’ card five years after vote

The past and future trouble with capitalism


Lifestyle

Full disclosure: 'I told my kids I had cancer'

7 things to eat and drink to help beat disease – according to a Harvard-trained doctor

Want to up your at-home yoga game? 7 best buys to add to your wish list

Review: Anderson.Paak at the Olympia, Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner