Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Heifer numbers increase in south

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

There has been a sharp lift in heifer numbers across the southern half of the country, a survey to be published by ICBF has found.

An initial assessment of the figures is understood to show a lift of 4.5pc in the number of dairy heifers on the ground in the Dairygold area compared to last year.

A similar increase is reported in Glanbia territory and across the east and southeast in general.

Given the lift in heifer numbers nationally is believed to be in the region of 1.5pc, industry sources maintained that the ICBF survey is likely to show that milk supply growth post-2013 will be concentrated in the strong dairying areas.

This has implications for processors across the southern half of the country, who will now have to deal with an even bigger spike in supplies during peak production months.


Meanwhile, there was mixed news for the dairy sector from the latest auction of intervention stocks. In total, 1,700t of skim milk powder (SMP) were sold at a minimum price of €211/t.

However, it was agreed to reject all the bids for butter because they were below the current average EU market price €3,560/t.

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The next intervention auction takes place on September 23.

Up to 1,545t of butter will be available for tender in the auction, with 77,853t of SMP offered.

In other dairy news, both Town of Monaghan and Lakelands are to stay at 30c/l (including VAT) for August milk supplies.

IFA dairy chairman Kevin Kiersey has called on co-ops to pay a milk price top-up to producers on the basis of stronger dairy markets than the co-ops anticipated.

Mr Kevin Kiersey pointed out that most markets are currently returning around 34.5c/l for milk at 3.3pc protein and 3.6pc fat, while US casein and Irish Dairy Board butter is at about 35c/l.

The British cheddar and whey spot price combination is significantly higher again, at 38.9c/l.

Irish Independent