There is a risk of a fodder shortage occurring on NI farms next winter because less fertiliser was spread in the spring and early summer, according to Jason Rankin from AgriSearch.

As reported in last weeks’ edition, a survey of over 800 NI farmers conducted by AgriSearch and the UFU found 52% of respondents have no plans to reduce livestock numbers this year.

However, three-quarters of livestock farmers intend to spread less fertiliser this year and over half of respondents plan on feeding less concentrates.

“Farmers are doing something entirely different and are expecting the same result,” Rankin suggested.

Speaking at Balmoral Show, he pointed out the best response from fertiliser in terms of grass growth occurs in May and June.

“If you are going to save on fertiliser, do it in August. This is not the time of year to do it,” Rankin said.