| 5.7°C Dublin


Bulk tank sales soar in advance of expansion

Bulk tank sales have surged in the past month as thousands of farmers aim to secure a place in the Department of Agriculture's Dairy Equipment Scheme.

The scheme opening has coincided with a major swell in milk supplies as farmers prepare for the abolition of milk quota.

This has resulted in huge demand for both new and second-hand bulk tanks.

Liam O'Connor, from Charle-ville Refrigeration, agents for Dari-Kool tanks, said the past few weeks have been one of the company's busiest times ever.

"We actually have more sales orders than we can handle," said Mr O'Connor.

The recent surge in orders is a direct result of the Dairy Equipment Scheme (DES), he added.

"Farmers are thinking about a number of things such as when quotas go and whether they will be moving from two-day to three-day collection in the near future," he said.


The average-size bulk tank on order for customers who are buying new tanks is 8,000-litre models, while second-hand buyers are opting for the 6,000-litre size in the main, Mr O'Connor added.

However, there are numerous dairy farmers opting to avoid the paperwork of the DES and investing in good quality second hand tanks instead of new tanks.

Limerick-based Mueller agent Liam Collins said he had orders for tanks sizes ranging from 3,000 to 28,000 litres but the most common tank being sold was around 9,000 litres. The sales agent said strong milk supplies this spring were putting some farmers under pressure to increase their tank capacity.

"They are looking for the tanks to be delivered yesterday and there are some lads who have blue barrels filled in the dairy when you arrive at the farm," said Mr Collins.

"Farmers are also thinking about moving up cow numbers by 10-15 cows and what they need is to hold an extra day's milk in the tank, which a lot of co-ops are pushing for."


The agent is currently quoting for some 30 tanks per week for the DES and estimates that 25-30pc of the applicants he has dealt with will fulfil the young farmer criteria for the scheme.

However, he said he was aware of a lot of farmers who would not apply for the scheme until they had secured planning permission for changes to their dairies.

Willie Walsh, from Kanturk-based Fullwood Packo, warned that farmers needed to be able to maximise marks under the Department of Agriculture's DES ranking system.

"There is a huge amount of interest in this scheme and farmers need to know how to increase their chances of getting approved," he said.

"We have produced a guide and a ready reckoner that will explain how to apply to the scheme."

The most popular size of tank being ordered from Dairymaster is understood to be the 10,900-litre SwiftCool bulk tank.

Indo Farming