Dropping milk recording is a 'false economy'
Dairy farmers have been warned any move towards dropping milk recording would be a "false economy" in the drive to cut costs.
The Teagasc National Dairy Conference heard concerns raised by advisors that farmers were considering cutting their recording amid the milk price slump.
The warning comes as independent analyst Mark Voorbergen said it will be the second half of 2016 before there is any sign of a major price recovery, with Europe's supply growth probably under 2pc next year.
As both Lakeland Dairies and Glanbia confirmed they will hold their milk price for November, the IFA's dairy chair Sean O'Leary urged others to follow. He pointed out constituents will take a dip between October and January of up to 6c/l.
"Co-ops must, this month again, realise that even holding the price of milk will not protect farmers from challenging cash- flow issues in spring. However, any adjustment in the price could make matters considerably worse," said Mr O'Leary.
Farmers are already considering cost-cutting options for the spring, as Don Crowley, a milk quality specialist with Teagasc based in Clonakilty, warned that numerous farmers have already told him they are going to drop milk recording.
"In the potential drive to reduce cost base they are looking at dumping milk recording for a year or two," he said. "If we've learnt anything from 2009 and 2012, which were our last two difficult years, it was a false economy because in what they lost in milk yield, extra treatments and cull cows it would have more than paid for itself by keeping the milk recording.
"They were ready then for the bounce when the milk price came up again."