Winter milk producers to stage 'show of unity' over premium issue
Farmers 'very worried' about long-term viability of the sector
Many of the country's winter milk producers are fearful over the longterm viability of the sector, as negotiations on the premium enter a critical stage.
Farmers from throughout the Leinster, Munster and Midlands region are due to gather at a massive meeting in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, in a 'show of unity' on price.
Teddy Cashman, the IFA liquid milk chairman, said they are in the full throes of discussions on the bonus premium.
"We felt it was time to have a public meeting on it," he said, with figures from the ICBF showing a decline in the number of autumn born calves in the dairy herd. A lot of farmers are getting very worried," said Mr Cashman.
The critical time in the negotiations comes with the October milk price set, and the majority of co-ops holding on price, except for west Cork's Carbury group dropping 1c/l.
Glanbia, which caused farmer uproar when it dropped to 24c/l, with 1c/l co-op top, has held at that rate. Kerry is holding at 26c/l, while Lakelands remains at 26.25c/l.
With liquid milk payments based on the manufacturing price, plus a bonus, there are rising concerns for this year's price.
Mr Cashman said producers were being disproportionately impacted by the low base prices.