Milk Mecca... crowds throng dairy research centre
Record numbers of dairy farmers turned out for Teagasc's biennial open day in Cork last week.
Estimates of up to 14,000 farmers streamed through the gates of the country's largest dairy research centre just outside Fermoy for what has become a Mecca for milk producers from both Ireland and abroad.
The latest in dairy technology, including calving alarms, virtual fencing systems and GPS powered grass meters were on display at over 120 information points throughout the 200ac site.
The focus of the event was finding sustainable ways for farmers to cope with the expansion that the industry is currently in the grips of.
Weekly milk volumes have soared by 20pc in some regions since the quotas were abolished at the start of April, despite international milk prices falling to some of their lowest levels in the last decade.
Results from Fonterra's Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction fell by another 6pc last week as global supplies continue to outstrip demand.
This brings the GDT index to 634, less than half the 1,482 that the index was at in February 2014, and just 61 points above its lowest ever point in July 2009.
Figures on the day confirmed the impact of the downturn on dairy incomes, with a 75 cow herd back by €35,000 in sales this year.