Irish monthly milk production edges towards 1 billion litres mark
Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 946.7 million litres for April 2019, according to the CSO.
This was 15pc above the corresponding 2018 figure.
Milk production is on target to top eight billion litres this year, with deliveries to some processors up 12-13pc in the first quarter compared to 2018.
Comparing the April 2019 milk produce figures with those for April 2018 shows that total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 2.3pc to 43.4 million litres while butter production was up 18.2pc to 28,100 tonnes.
However, a number of processors cautioned that the supply growth seen in the first quarter might not be sustained through the year as milk output between January and March in 2018 was badly affected by poor spring weather and Storm Emma.
Teagasc dairy specialist George Ramsbottom has said milk supplies were currently running well ahead of other years. But he warned that conditions could change radically as the year progressed.
Mr Ramsbottom said farmers were reporting unprecedented milk yields for the early part of the year, despite the delayed start to calving.
"The volumes being produced at the moment are quite substantial and will probably peak earlier due to favourable weather in February and early March," he said.
Mr Ramsbottom said that while grass growth rates had dropped back over the past week, some farms were still struggling to get covers grazed.
It comes as dairy group Fonterra on Thursday said its New Zealand milk production fell 10pc in April from the year before as dry weather hit farms.
The world’s biggest dairy exporter also said in a statement that its Australian milk output dropped 10pc in March from a year earlier amid continued drought and high farm costs in that country.
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