Irish fodder schemes could put more pressure on UK markets as the country looks to secure stocks.
Dairy processors in the republic have switched from sourcing on the domestic market to sourcing from mainland UK.
While it sympathised with the plight of Irish farmers, the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW) was concerned about the impact on Welsh farmers already facing shortages.
Co-operative Dairygold arranged for 2,500 tonnes of fodder to be shipped from the UK, with the first load landing last week.
It said it had been working with members trying to secure supplies from around Ireland, but it could not source adequate amounts.
Dairygold chairman John O’Gorman said tight stocks had been compounded after heavy rain at Easter after ‘one of the worst winters on record’, with many animals still housed.
“We have no doubt this imported fodder is essential. Unfortunately, ground temperatures and grass growth remain well below normal for this time of year, so at this point in time it is difficult to know when dairy farmers will be in a position to return to grazing.”
Dai Miles, FUW milk and dairy committee chairman, said Welsh farmers had been unable to turn cattle out, with wet weather leaving fields in Wales completely saturated.
Mr Miles added they had alerted the Welsh Government about fodder shortages ‘many weeks ago’.
He was concerned the removal of fodder from the UK market through Irish schemes would add to the pressure.
“We fully sympathise with Irish farmers regarding the pressures they are under, but with prices already extremely high in the UK and pressures mounting in parts of Wales, the impact of the Irish schemes for our members is naturally a concern.”
Fodder continued to remain scarce and expensive.
Spring barley straw in Hesston bales sold for £53.50 each at Aberdeen and Northern Marts forage sale. Round bales of spring barley straw were fetching £20.40 each.
Hay in round bales sold for £26.72 per bale and silage for £20.50 per bale.
Further south in Angus wheat straw in square bales was selling at £100 tonne ex-farm.