Dairy farmers advised to cut deep to cope in 2016
Reducing teat dipping, antibiotic use, and hot washes are just some of the drastic measures being suggested to farmers ahead of another year of low milk prices.
Cutting costs to cope with falling incomes is one of the big topics for discussion at the Irish Grassland Association's (IGA) dairy conference in Limerick this week.
While spring calving farmers escaped the worst of the price falls last year because their peak had passed when prices really started to plummet, the opposite appears to be the case in 2016.
Grasstec's Noel Gowan will outline a series of measures to cut costs by at least 15pc this year, with increased grass measurement and management key.
Despite the well publicised benefits of maximising grass utilisation, it is estimated that less than 1,000 farmers measure their grass on a weekly basis.
"This will also help reduce machinery or contractor bills because it should reduce the need for pre- mowing and topping," says Mr Gowan.
The dairy advisor will also highlight a number of ways that farmers can save when shelling out on routine inputs.
For example, he points to electricity, minerals and dairy chemicals as areas where a large price variation warrants shopping around.