August 2014 Newsletter

Milk price & supply, Milk Quota Appeals Tribunal, health certificate, autumn reseeding, O’Sullivan Farm Walk, once-a-day milking

15 August 2014

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of July has been reduced by 2.0 cents per litre. This is due to the continuing weaker prices for dairy products on the world market. This brings the price to 35.25 cents per litre (160.256 cents per gallon ) at 3.60 % butterfat and 3.30 % protein, including a bonus of 0.50 cents per litre for a Somatic Cell Count of less than 200,000 and including VAT at 5.0%.

Milk Supply

The milk supply for the month of July was 18,756,847 litres (4,125,944 gallons) with an average butterfat of 3.86% and an average protein of 3.41 %.

This represents an increase of 774,719 litres (170,415 gallons) on butterfat adjusted supply compared to July 2013.

The Co-Op was 8.08% over quota at the end of July.

The Department estimate that the country was 7.05% over quota at the end of June.

Milk Quota Appeals Tribunal

Forms for the Milk Quota Appeals Tribunal Scheme are now available.

The Tribunal will give priority to producers who are committed to and highly dependent on dairying.

The closing date for receipt of completed application forms to Milk Policy Division, Kildare St, Dublin 2 is

Any supplier with a quota less than 280,000 litres interested in applying for quota under the Scheme should contact Seamus Daly or Tim Regan for an application form.

Health Certificate

Suppliers are reminded to submit their Dairy Health Certificate when completed.

The white copies of pages 1, 3 and 4 should be sent to the Co-Op.

We have spare certs for anybody who has lost their original. The completion of the cert is now an annual requirement.

Autumn Reseeding

Autumn Reseeding

Farmers should reseed 10 – 15% of their farm annually. Newly reseeded pasture produces 3 ton more dry matter per hectare. Swards with a low content of perennial rye grass reduce profits by €300.00 per hectare.

Best Practice

  1. Spray off the old pasture with Glyphosate at 5L pr ha (3.5 pts/Ac).
  2. Get the soil test done and apply Lime, Phosphate and Potash as required.
  3. Apply 60 Kg/ha (48 units/Ac) of nitrogen at or after sowing.
  4. Select the most suitable grass seed mixture for your needs from the Drinagh brochure as they are likely to be in the ground for 10 years or more.
  5. A fine firm seedbed is essential whether ploughing or not.
  6. Ideally cover seeds and roll well to ensure good contact between the seed and the soil.
  7. Monitor closely for pest attack and take action where necessary. Slugs, Leatherjackets, Frit Fly and Rabbits are the main threat.
  8. Post emergence weed control is essential particularly to control docks and thistles. Normally apply herbicide five-six weeks after sowing. Where clover is sown use an undersown spray that is safe on clover e.g. Clovermax.

O’Sullivan Farm Walk

People at O'Sullivan Farm Walk

People came in large numbers from near and far.


Kieran captivates his audience.


Drinagh catering service provides refreshments.

Once a Day Milking - A Quota Management Option

This is an option especially if you are seriously over quota. The total reduction in fat adjusted supply when going once a day milking for the rest of this year will be about 20%. Some safeguards need to be taken as regards milk quality. Once a day milking can increase Somatic Cell Count and as a consequence Lactose levels will reduce. This affects the process ability of milk at factory level resulting in penalties.

Actions to take if going once a day milking

  1. Individual cell count all cows or ideally carry out an up to date milk recording.
  2. Dry off any cows with over 500,000 in cell count.
  3. With once a day milking, bacteria will be in the udder for 24 hours so this can lead to increases in SCC and incidence of mastitis.
  4. Hygiene is paramount to minimizing the risk of increased SCC and mastitis.
  5. All cows should be pre-sprayed and dry wiped.
  6. All clusters should be disinfected in peracetic acid solution after each milking, to minimise cross infection this solution should be changed after every12 clusters.
  7. All cows should be post sprayed.
  8. Gloves should be worn.
  9. Monitor SCC levels and dry off problem quarters or high SCC cows as the season goes on.

This program will minimise cross infection and limit the rise in SCC which reduces lactose levels. There is extra time involved but with once a day milking this should not be a consideration. Be aware of over milking. The drop in volumes may not be as significant as you would expect as butter fat and protein levels will rise and there is capacity in the udder to carry extra volume post peak yield.


National Ploughing Championships will be held on the 23rd – 25th September 2014 in Ratheniska, Co. Laois