2018 weather cost dairy farmers 6c/L - how to get your farm finances ready for any challenge
Dairy farmers need to prepare now and can’t assume that an extreme weather year like 2018 won’t happen again, Head of Agriculture at AIB Tadgh Buckley has warned.
Speaking ahead of the Positive Farmers Conference due to take place in Cork next week, Mr Buckley advised that dairy farmers must make preparations to ensure their farm is weather and financed proof in the event that an extreme weather year like 2018 happens again.
“The 2018 milk production year will be remembered as one of the most challenging in recent years for Irish dairy farmers. While 2018 was an exceptional year it would be foolhardy to categorise it as a once-off event that will not re-occur,” Mr Buckley pointed out.
"Dairy farm net margins in 2018 are likely to be similar to 2016 despite a 5c/L higher milk price. The financial impact of the difficult weather conditions is quite variable ranging from 2c/L in the least impacted regions to c. 6c/L on farms worst affected.
“In any event, addressing the challenges that 2018 presented on your farm will better position your farm for the future and make it a more sustainable business going forward for all involved in the business.”
Mr Buckley highlighted some key issues that should be addressed on farms to make sure farmers are ready for all possibilities when it comes to the weather in 2019.
Contingency funds are invaluable
Mr Buckley said that dairy farms, where access to feed and financial reserves were readily available, coped much better with the difficulties of 2018.