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Atrocious weather bill hits €2 million a day

Atrocious weather is costing Irish farmers more than €2m each day. Experts warn this is only the beginning and it's too soon to estimate the real cost as the fallout will be felt well into 2010. Emergency measures have been employed on farms around the country and it's all about survival at this stage. Soil temperatures are currently two to three degrees BELOW NORMAL for this time of year and recorded growth rates at present are running way below what would be expected. At Teagasc's beef research facility in Grange in the past week, growth rates on the cattle grazing unit were running at less than half the normal rate for this time of year. Worsening ground conditions have also forced the re-housing of stock at the Co Meath unit. Silage prices have shot up to €30-40 a bale and there are even reports of farmers selling cut grass at €100 for each trailer load. Most farmers are now feeding 2-10kg of ration/animal/day. Even so, animal performance, particularly in dairy herds, has been badly affected. Grass shortages have reached "nightmarish" proportions, especially on mixed holdings. In parts of the west, rain levels are three times the normal rate for this time of year.

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