‘Winter Fodder – dealing with a shortage’ - ANM supports farmers by offering practical advice

16/08/2018

The summer show season is nearly finished, and once again ANM exhibited at some of the best agricultural events in the North and North East of Scotland. Staff met with many members, customers and visitors who stopped by the stand to discuss livestock marketing and the different challenges faced by the agricultural industry.  

The prolonged spell of hot and dry weather was certainly the main talking point among show attendees, as farmers discussed their concerns regarding the shortage of winter fodder and finding alternatives to straw for feeding and bedding purposes.

Some farmers reported that they have already dipped into their winter fodder supplies to feed cattle grazing dry grass fields. Although the second cuts of silage were a concern, the recent rain has helped with grass growth and hopefully, sufficient winter fodder will still be made this autumn. There is much speculation about the price of straw, however, the market will not settle until the harvest season is complete.

Last week’s cattle sales at Thainstone saw a considerable improvement in the trade. A combination of good quality store cattle and a packed ringside of buyers resulted in a strong sale and improved prices achieved. The average price for bullocks went up by 17.4p per kg on the previous week, selling to 260p per kg, and the price of heifers increased by 16.2p per kg, selling to 262.1p per kg.

Meanwhile, finished cows are selling particularly well and are up 6.7p per kg from last week, selling to 184.8p per kg, with a top price of £1,685 realised for a 1,035kg Charolais during Thursday’s sale – making this the dearest cow in Scotland that week. Prices are set to continue to rise as imports decrease, driving demand higher.

The market is beginning to show signs of improvement and planning for the winter is already taking place. Farmers are encouraged to attend ANM’s open meeting: ‘Winter Fodder – dealing with a shortage’, Friday 17th August at 2:00pm in Ring 2 at Thaisntone Centre, Inverurie, to learn about different strategies to help with winter fodder budgeting, managing stock numbers, and alternative fodder and bedding options.

The event is organised by the Farm Profit Programme team, which will see advisors Robert Gilchrist and Declan Marren present various options and solutions available to farmers facing fodder shortages this winter.