Monday 5 December 2016

The bubble has definitely burst, but dairy is still a good bet

Published 12/04/2016 | 02:30

Leveraging our natural competitive advantage to produce milk as cheaply as anyone else on the planet will increase the economic output of Ireland’s agrisector. Stock Image
Leveraging our natural competitive advantage to produce milk as cheaply as anyone else on the planet will increase the economic output of Ireland’s agrisector. Stock Image

The average Irish dairy cow produces five tonnes of milk a year. But with a payment of little more than 27c a litre this year, she will barely cover the cost of her keep on many farms in 2016.

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The dairy bubble has well and truly burst, with prices down more than 40pc from their highs nearly two years ago. In 2014 the State's agricultural research body Teagasc estimated that the average 70-cow herd netted an income of €69,000, while one in five dairy farmers made more than €100,000.

No wonder most of Ireland's 17,500 dairy farmers were chomping on the bit in anticipation of the day when the 30-year-old milk quota regime was due to end.

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