Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Shock therapy is needed in some cases'

Published 28/10/2015 | 02:30

Teagasc advisor Rochie O'Brien, farmer Shane O Loughlan from Monastrevin and Teagasc winter milk specialist Joe Patton at last week's National Milk Conference in Navan. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Teagasc advisor Rochie O'Brien, farmer Shane O Loughlan from Monastrevin and Teagasc winter milk specialist Joe Patton at last week's National Milk Conference in Navan. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Some Teagasc profit monitors are revealing exceptionally high feed costs of 12c/l or more on some dairy farms.

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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.

'Addiction'

"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.

"There are a few numbers that need to be deleted off the mobile and I think that would go a long way to solving a lot of those problems.

After that he said at 6.5c/l it was a case of "regular check-ups" but they are "fighting fit really".

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