Cow exports double in battle to beat levy
Dramatic rise as co-ops report milk supplies still over quota
The number of dairy cow exports more than doubled in the first eight months of this year as dairy farmers try to avoid massive superlevy fines.
Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that this trend has escalated dramatically, with more than 2,000 cows over two years of age shipped out of the country over the past eight weeks. This is more than quadruple the number exported during the same period last year.
The numbers will come as no surprise to dairy bosses who report that their co-ops are still as much as 8pc over quota for the quota year to date. However, many are beginning to report some slight easing in supplies.
Glanbia said that it was 7.8pc over quota as of the end of last month, while its Premier milk pool was 5.9pc over quota, leaving the co-op nearly 72m litres over quota so far this year.
Dairygold is in an almost identical position, at 7.7pc over quota for the 2011-2012 quota year to date. Tipperary reports that it is 8-9pc over quota but that the last week in September was the first time the co-op saw supplies fall behind last year's levels.
Kerry is 2.2pc over quota and the co-op said that milk supplies are beginning to slow with worsening grazing conditions. It is currently 15m litres over quota, an improvement of nearly six million litres when compared to the end of August.
The Border county co-ops, such as Town of Monaghan and Lakeland, said that they are around 2pc over quota, with supplies also beginning to ease.
However, demand for quota is sky-high, with very small amounts reported to be available for the upcoming quota trading scheme, which is due to close for offers this Friday.