Farm Ireland

Saturday 24 March 2018

Dairy men act to curb milk supply

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Worried Glanbia suppliers have switched to once-a-day milking in a bid to stave off a superlevy fine that looks almost inevitable, even at this early stage of the year.

Surplus cows are also being sold off as farmers desperately try to ratchet back production. Milk supplies across the country during May continued to surge way ahead of the same month last year, with supplies up by as much as 20pc in some co-ops.

Milk deliveries to Glanbia during May were close to 10pc higher than the milk delivered during the same month last year. April supplies were 15pc higher than April last year and a spokesman said the co-op was "well over quota" at this stage.

He described the situation as very serious, adding that a superlevy was inevitable, but some suppliers had switched to once-a-day milking and were selling cows to reduce supplies.

Milk supplies to Dairygold in May were 4pc higher than May last year and supplies for the calendar year to date were 13pc up on the same period last year. Overall the co-op is running 5-6pc over quota and farmers are being urged to be careful. The co-op has already informed farmers that once they hit their individual quotas, it will hold back 28.65c/l on each extra litre of milk from their milk cheque.

Milk supplies to Kerry slowed somewhat during May but were still 12pc up on May last year, which was a poor month for supplies. The co-op is running slightly above quota at present.

Arrabawn farmers sent the co-op 8.5pc more milk last month than they did in May last year and the co-op is running approximately 5pc over quota at present.

Connacht Gold is running on quota for April and May and supplies during May were 20pc higher than May last year.

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Lakeland is over quota at present but a spokesman for the co-ops aid it was too early to say what the end-of-year position could be. May milk supplies were 12-13pc higher than May last year.

Town of Monaghan is running about 4pc over quota at present and May supplies were 5pc higher than the same month last year.

Meanwhile, dairy prices at the first June Fonterra auction lifted by an average of 4.5pc and Dutch dairy board quotes for butter also rose last week.

IFA dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey said this was yet another market indicator showing real price improvements for most dairy commodities and called on co-op boards to set their May milk price at 33c/l plus VAT.

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