So, what exactly is the problem with beef price? Is it supply/demand, Brexit or are we simply just not price competitive with our international rivals when it come to selling commodity beef?
The answer is probably a combination of all three.
Dairy farmers are also price takers, but in contract to beef farmers Irish dairy farmers margins are certainly not in the red.
Two good years of milk price in 2017 and 2018 have put their finances in order, so the complaints have revolved around the non-financial matters such as drought and workload rather than milk price.
The global market for milk appears to be on an upward trajectory when one looks at recent publications of the various milk price indices.
Yet, many processors announced reductions in the price paid for March milk.
This has largely gone unchallenged and continues to be overshadowed by the beef crisis.
Again, the question must be asked: why milk price cuts by some but not all milk processors?
Some of the dairy co-ops have an unwritten policy of holding back a little on milk price paid when prices are good so that they can shore prices up when they are on the floor.
Perhaps this explains some of what's at play.
However, one can't but help imagining the conversations at milk processor management meetings when price is relatively strong in the markets and a decision must be made on the price paid to farmers.
The 'will we or won't we' debate must be coloured by potential projected profits, resulting bonuses and may other non-farmer issues.
This is where a well composed strategic plan with a clear mission statement, values, key priorities and strategic goals comes into its own for a processing business - co-op or plc.
The decisions made by management, presented to the board for approval, are a lot smoother when everybody is on the same track with a clear focus on the end goal.
Surely a decision to increase, hold or decrease milk price should be communicated to every supplier well in advance with that crystal-clear reasoning, based on the strategic plan from that particular business.
Instead there seems to be a monthly stand off at this time of the year, with the big co-ops waiting to see who will put out the bad news first and then the rest follow. Implicit in this is the false reasoning that the damage will be limited because they did not go first.
Farmer suppliers are intelligent people.
If they know and understand the aims and goals of the milk processor in which they are also most likely are shareholder, then milk price announcements should not have all the mystery and drama presently surrounding them.
Good milk prices should add value to a dairy farmer by improving the net share value of the milk processing business in which the farmer supplier has a shareholding. Clarity and communication are essential.
Mike Brady is managing director at Brady Group agricultural consultants & land agents; email: email@example.com