Fodder stock survey reveals straw stocks are low, but forage stocks are good

A recent survey conducted by AHDB reveals that farmers are planning for their winter forage supplies earlier than last year. Sixty-six per cent of farmers who responded to the survey had good forage stocks, and only 31% were short of grass silage. Fewer farmers have forward bought straw compared to last year, although they have concerns for future straw availability, price and managing cash flows.

Almost half of the respondents had concerns about future forage stocks, which included:

    • The effect of the weather on forage yield
    • Straw price and availability
    • Growing maize
    • Growing enough grass
    • Climate change impact on supply

Siwan Howatson, Senior Scientist at AHDB, says “The survey has shown the need for farmers to secure straw ready for winter or look at alternative options. For example, planning straw for muck deals for next year, filling the forage gap this winter, and thinking about growing maize.”

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The survey had a total of 61 responses, with the majority of respondents from Southwest England. Compared to last years survey, more farmers have fodder stocks ‘over 10% higher than normal’, suggesting that fodder stocks are good (47.5% compared to 31% last year). Twenty-three per cent reported to have between ‘10–50% less fodder than normal’, and these farmers were from Southwest England, East Anglia, North West England, Wales and West Midlands.

See the full survey results