Dairy farmers facing delays on cull cow slaughter
Dairy farmers who are seeking to cull cows are facing a two- or three-week delay in getting their stock slaughtered.
Factories are reportedly reluctant to take the large numbers of cows being offered by dairy farmers who are out of grass and struggling to keep cows fed.
While the weekend rain will ease the pressure in some areas, highly stocked dairy farmers in the south and east are feeding up to 12kgs of concentrates and course rations per cow per day, as well as silage, to keep stock going.
Many farmers who are facing mounting feed bills are opting to cull empty cows and those with high somatic cell counts.
Department of Agriculture figures confirm a 23pc lift in the number of cows killed, with 9,280 cows slaughtered in the week ending July 8, compared to 7,548 for the same week in 2017. This is an increase of 1,732 animals.
Prices for P-grade cows at €3/kg are back €120/hd over the last two months, while factories are paying around €2/kg for cows straight out of the milking parlour.
But it is the difficulty in getting cows killed that is farmers' primary concern at the moment.
The beef processors' decision to pull cow prices has been slammed by Des Morrison of ICMSA who accused them of profiteering.