“Oats have been undervalued as a feed ingredient on the island here for as long as I’m in the business,” Phelim Dolan stated at last week’s From the Tramlines event held by the Irish Farmers Journal.

The trader, who works with Comex McKinnon, noted that there is a perception among livestock farmers that oats are a cheap feed.

However, he noted: “Nutritionally, oats bring an awful lot to the table in animal feed. It’s bringing fibre, oil, protein, starch. Aside from some mineral deficiencies here and there, it’s pretty much a complete feed.”

He added that dairy and beef rations should be seeing an awful lot more oats incorporated, adding that we have become reliant on soya hulls from South America as a source of fibre.


“If we could establish that demand, there’s no reason why the oat acreage shouldn’t increase, but you have to establish the demand and it does come down to the feed trade and the farmers themselves to demand it.”

He noted that some feed mills in the north and southwest of the country saw good results with inclusion rates of 12% to 15% for oats.

Tillage editor Andy Doyle added that research in some parts is showing oats to be beneficial in reducing methane emissions.