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UK heatwave and drought may lead to forage shortages

 
The UK looks set for a prolonged dry spell with the mercury rising for a two week long heatwave predicted to start this saturday, making May the hottest recorded for 350 years. With the continuing lack of any significant rain apart from the few showers we have had in the last week we face the very real prospect of a severe drought across the country.
 
Average temperature in England so far this month was 13C (55F) – five degrees warmer than average and ranking it in the top 6% of hottest Mays since records began in 1659.
 
In April only 24% of average rainfall fell making it the driest April for 80 years, whilst parts of the country have had the driest March for almost half a century.

Whilst many farmers may have plenty of grazing at present, regrowth is likely to slow as the dry weather begins to bite.
 
First and second cut silage yields may also be significantly reduced due to the continuing dry weather, leading to the possibility of another winter of low forage stocks.
 
Moist feeds work well as a forage replacer and it may well pay to make the most of these now whilst prices are competitive and availability is still good, conserving forage stocks for late summer and next winter when moist feed prices will inevitably rise.
 
Moist blends such as Wessex Gold and Buckby Best can also provide an alternative to both forage and more expensive traditional concentrates and straights.
 
Here at Dairy Consultancy Services we can supply a complete range of moist feeds and moist blends at competitive prices so give us a call to discuss how these could fit into your system with our free ration review. Tel 07795 373433

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