Farm Ireland

Thursday 17 January 2019

Farmers face power cuts and disruptions to milk collections

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Farmers around the country are facing tough working conditions as power cuts hit many counties and at dairy processors say milk collections will be affected by the weather.

A Status Red alert has been issued for the entire country and people have been urged to remain indoors from 4pm today until at least noon tomorrow.

The army is being called out in Longford to clear local roads and dairy processors are warning that there will be disruptions to milk collections as some roads are impassable with snow and ice.

Not since 1982 has the country been struck with such force by Mother Nature, as Storm Emma clashes with Arctic winds. It will cause heavy snowfall and gusts of up to 110kmh, resulting in "zero-visibility".

A meeting of the LacPatrick emergency response team on Thursday morning decided that staff at the Monaghan Town site will finish work at 2pm and the site will not be open on Friday.

Ian Hamilton Group Logistics Manager at LacPatrick said milk will now be collected on a case-by-case basis.

“There will be disruptions to milk collections as and from this morning. We would urge farmers who need milk collected to contact their local haulier to see if it is possible to have their milk collected.

“Our hauliers are committed to getting milk collected but we are insistent that safety is the number one priority.

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“Again we would like to thank farmers for making every effort in having their lanes and yards cleaned and gritted. This is critical to aiding in getting the milk collected,” Hamilton said.

Glanbia Ireland announced yesterday that it has a contingency plan in place for milk collections over the coming days, and it worked to maximise milk collections and feed deliveries early in the week to help prepare for the forecasted adverse conditions.

However, it warned that road conditions mean that in some areas there will inevitably be disruption to normal milk collection and feed delivery schedules – and farmers are asked to be patient.

The Department of Agriculture and farming organisations have called on farmers to be extra careful when working over the coming days.

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