'Shock therapy is needed in some cases'
Some Teagasc profit monitors are revealing exceptionally high feed costs of 12c/l or more on some dairy farms.
Joe Patton emphasised the percentage of farms in the critical category was small overall.
"I would categorise those people as critical - these severe haemorrhages of cash, particularly this year," he said, likening the finances on some farms to patients in a hospital A&E.
"Emergency surgery is essential," he said.
"Some of these herds will respond to shock therapy and some won't but shock therapy is what is needed in a lot of these cases.
"Come back a bit from that and you're talking intensive care, stabilising first and a bit of surgery needed. But the long-term prognosis on a lot of those farms unfortunately is not so good.
"The interesting guys are at the 8 to 9.5c/l - the 'high risk' guys - negative health really. Interestingly I think these guys do display symptoms of addiction," he says.