Surviving the winter and beyond

By Graham Ragg, Mole Valley Farmers Senior Agronomist & Product Manager

With the backdrop of the highest inflation rate for 40 years, rising interest rates, difficulty finding labour and the worst drought since 1976, this winter is going to be a real challenge.

Thanks to this summer’s drought, with record temperatures of more than 40°C in the UK and wildfires across Europe, it could take a whole year for many farms to fully recover.

The effects on forage stocks and grazing have been devastating, with many farmers having used up half their first cut silage by the middle of August.

Reports from eastern England saw forage maize being harvested in early August at a third of the normal yield. Some concerned farmers estimate they could run out of forage by Christmas.

Couple the drought with the disruption to world food supplies due to the Ukraine war and we are in a ‘perfect storm’ where grain and feed prices are likely to remain high this winter.

So what are the strategies that farmers can adopt now to mitigate the lack of forage on farms?

Long-term strategies to build up forage reserves

For further information or products to boost forage stocks contact the Grass & Forage helpline on 01769 576232.