Fodder crisis sees milk production dip by almost 6% in April
The fodder crisis which became acute on dairy farms across the country last spring has driven a substantial drop in milk production.
Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 815.5m litres for April 2018. This was 5.9pc below the corresponding 2017 figure.
There was also a sharp fall-off in milk proteins through the worst of the fodder crisis.
In March, Glanbia said that milk protein levels have fallen sharply this week, reflecting the challenges in keeping a good diet in front of milking cows.
It is understood that protein levels have fallen to 3.18pc in mid-March, compared with 3.30pc this time last year.
ICMSA Dairy Committee, Ger Quain, said that the statistics confirmed that, as suspected, the severe winter and spring has resulted in a very substantial drop in milk production.
"Obviously the first and most serious consequence is in terms of farmer income, the difference in production between April this year and April 2017 will – we estimate – work out at about €15 million less dairy farmer income.
"That is without even going near the constituents and the impact that we’ll see there", noted Mr Quain.