Scottisch livestock suffers from feed shortage
The long, hard winter in Scotland is really biting into animal feed stocks, with hay and straw now in short supply. "It is very, very difficult to get hold of good quality straw," according to fodder merchant Willie Graham, of Auchengray, Dumfries.
Fodder dealers have to go far south into England to be able to purchase hay and straw and prices of more than £100 per tonne after haulage costs to south-west Scotland were added.
Ever since the snow came in mid-December, livestock farmers have had to increase rations to their sheep and cattle, and after eight to nine weeks with lying snow, silage clamps are rapidly emptying.
The Border Machinery Ring are also deeply involved in supplying fodder, including hauling carrots up from Humberside to help their livestock members. Stephen Young reckoned this was the first time they had had to source animal food from such a distance.
An organic farmer commented: “It has been a very long very hard winter that is by no means over yet.
“On our place we made triple the usual amount of feed. Due to the bad cereal price all the grain went into arable silage, we will use it all.
“This is our fourth month of snow cover and fifth month of severe weather. We have lost buildings in snow, roads in floods and power supplies due to ice on lines. Roll on spring I can't wait.”
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