Record milk supplies forces switch to once-a-day milking
Published 13/08/2014 | 02:30
Dairy farmers are converting to once-a-day milking in record numbers as processors report their worst ever milk quota position.
With individual co-ops as much as 11pc over quota by the end of July - the worst ever in over 30 years in the system - farmers are taking radical steps to head off the severity of the potentially huge super levy penalty next April.
Increasing cow numbers in herds hoping to take advantage of the end of quotas in eight months is only adding to supply problems.
Teagasc regional manager John Donworth said that farmers from Kildare to Cork have already changed from the traditional twice daily routine, and he expects the switch to escalate on a weekly basis as dairy farmers grapple with impending super levy fines.
"It is a management control measure being taken by farmers who are seriously over their quota and it is not a bad option, but there are management issues that must be considered," he said.
"There are some producers over quota who are still meal feeding, which makes no sense. They are on a hiding to nothing because they are already losing money. Boosting production in the current situation is not the thing to be doing. They are simply not doing their sums.
"Even if they are getting 40c/l, it is probably costing 27c/l to produce and they are facing a fine of 28c/l. They should take a serious look at their management and consider their options," added Mr Donworth.
He is convinced that Ireland is going to exceed its quota again this year.