Farmers draw down over €20m from Glanbia credit scheme

Glanbia Wexford. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke
Glanbia Wexford. Photo: Finbarr O'Rourke
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

Between €20m and €25m has been drawn down by 1,500 farmers under the Glanbia Co-op Extended Credit Scheme which was launched in July.

The vast majority of the farmers who have drawn down funds under the scheme are believed to be milk suppliers, a Glanbia spokesman said.

The credit scheme was launched by Glanbia Co-op during the summer drought to assist co-op shareholders who were forced to purchase concentrates to feed dairy herds and drystock through July and August when grass growth totally collapsed. The scheme was financed by Glanbia Co-op from internal reserves.

The scheme covered the purchase of all dairy compound feeds and dairy coarse rations including eligible straights, along with the purchase of fertiliser between July 16 and September 15.

Purchases made under the scheme will be paid for by deduction from the supplier’s milk account in six equal instalments in July, August and September of 2019 and 2020. No interest will be charged by Glanbia Ireland on the deferred payments.

Eligibility for the scheme was confined to Glanbia Co-op members, with a valid milk supply agreement with Glanbia Ireland.

The level of take up of the scheme illustrates the extent of additional feeding that was required this year to get through the drought.

It is estimated by Teagasc that feed usage by dairy herds in the south of the country will top 1t/cow this year, compared to around 450-500kgs on average.

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The average drawdown under the scheme ranged from €13,500/farmer to €16,500/farmer, with the variation depending on whether €20m or €25m was utilised.  

The southeast was the hardest hit region during the drought this summer, with soil moisture deficits topping 90mm and feed demand running at four to five times the rate of grass growth.

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