February 2014 Newsletter

Milk price & supply, temporary leasing, Carbery bonus, S.C.C. bonus/penalties, antibiotic contamination of milk, super levy on account, once-a-day milking

4 March 2014

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of January is the same as last month- 39.88 cents per litre (181.28 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat, 3.30% protein and including 0.88 cents per litre Winter Somatic Cell Count bonus and VAT @ 5.0 %.

Milk Supply

The milk supply for the month of January was 2,722,148 litres (598,791 gallons) with an average butterfat of 3.99% and an average protein of 3.28 %. This represents an increase of 304,222 litres (66,920 gallons) after butterfat adjustment on January 2013.

The Co-Op was 2.44% over quota at the end of the January. This equates to 3,130,586 litres over quota. If supply matches quota for the remainder of the quota year, this will result in a Super Levy bill of €897,116 for the Society before the allocation of National Flexi milk. Figures from the Department estimate the country was 1.52% over quota at the end of January.

Temporary Leasing

The Second Stage of the 2013/2014 Temporary Leasing Scheme is now complete. A total of 40 quota holders offered all or part of their quotas into the Scheme. This resulted in a pool of 1,572,044 litres of quota. There were 132 applicants for this quota.

As a result Category 1 quota holders with a quota of less than 350,000 litres (76,990 gallons) receive a maximum of 18,114 litres (3,985 gls) and Category 2 suppliers, above 350,000 litre quota (76,990 gls.) receive a maximum of 9,057 litres (1,992 gls.).

The price was1 cent per litre and the relevant allocations have been added to individuals annual quotas in this month’s statements.

Carbery Bonus

At a recent Board meeting the Carbery Board approved a bonus payment of 0.5 cents per litre plus VAT on 2013 milk supplies.

S.C.C Bonus/Penalties

As already announced the penalties for S.C.C. have changed from the 1st January 2014.
The Summer S.C.C. bonus (March to October) has increased to 0.5 cents per litre since 1st July 2013. The base milk price will be paid for an average S.C.C. between 201,000 and 300,000. (Previously between 201,000 and 350,000) Above 300,000 a penalty will be charged as per the table below.


Bonus for less than 200,000

Summer (March - Oct) 0.5 C/L Winter (Nov - Feb) 0.88 C/L

201-300 Base Price

Penalty for greater than 300,000

301-400 0.5 C/L 401-500 1.5 C/L 501-600 3.0 C/L >600 8.0 C/L

Antibiotic Contamination of Milk

Antibiotic residue - how to avoid problems:

  • Write down the dates on which cows were treated with dry cow therapy, and when their withholding periods are up.
  • If cows calve early, make sure the minimum dry period has passed before putting milk into the tank. Keep colostrum and transition milk from all freshly calved cows out of the bulk tank. At least the first eight milkings should be withheld from the tank – whether cows have received dry cow treatment or not.
  • If you suspect an error in cow identity, treatment or calving date records, do not put the milk in the tank until the issue is resolved. Have a sample tested first.
  • It is advisable to pre-test milk before the first collection. Finally, if you suspect any cows have been milked into the tank by mistake notify your milk driver immediately and test for antibiotic residue.

Super Levy on Account

Super Levy on account deductions will be made on suppliers March milk accounts where the adjusted milk supply has exceeded the individual milk quota after allowing a certain leeway. This leeway will be dependent on how much the Society is over quota at the 31st March 2014.

Is Once a Day Milking a Quota Management Option

It is feasible to milk once a day until April and then revert back to twice a day at that stage.


  1. Fat% and protein % will increase with OAD milking.
  2. Labour is reduced which is beneficial in early lactation when labour input is highest.
  3. Body Condition Score (BCS) will improve for cows milked OAD in early lactation, which has a positive impact on fertility and breeding.
  4. Costs of production will be reduced


  1. Not suitable for high cell count cows so herds should be milk recorded and high cell count cows removed.
  2. OAD milking reduced milk solids per cow by 20%, compared to twice a day (TAD) milking over a full lactation.
  3. Milk output per cow will be reduced.

Actions to take if changing to once a day milking:

  1. Individual cell count all cows or ideally carry out an up to date milk recording.
  2. All cows should be pre-sprayed but all traces of the disinfectant should be removed before clusters are attached.
  3. All clusters should be disinfected in per-acetic acid solution after each milking, to minimise cross infection. This solution should be changed after 12 clusters dipped in solution.
  4. All cows should be post sprayed while ensuring adequate coverage of all teats.
  5. Gloves should be worn when milking to prevent cross infection of cows
  6. Monitor SCC levels and dry off problem quarters or high SCC cows as the season progresses.

While OAD may be suitable for some it may not suit all suppliers, see what is best for your pocket and your lifestyle.


Carbery Bonus on 2013 Supplies - 0.5 cents per Litre plus VAT Co-Op Quota Position 2.44% OVER at the end of January.