February 2015 Newsletter

Milk price & supply, temporary leasing, Flexi Milk Allocation, spring dairy promotion, SDAS bonus, Milk Collection - 1st April 2015, over quota? advantages of ‘Yogmilk’

27 February 2015

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of January is the same as last month – 32.01 cents per litre (145.244 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including a bonus of 0.88 cents per litre for a Somatic Cell Count of less than 200,000 and including VAT at 5.2%.

Milk Supply

The milk supply for the month of January was 2,251,812 litres (495,339 gallons) with an average butterfat of 3.96% and an average protein of 3.21%.

This represents a decrease of 497,372 litres (109,402 gallons) on butterfat adjusted supply compared to January 2014.

The Co-Op was 7.40% over quota at the end of the December. If supply matches quota for the remainder of the quota year, this will result in a Super Levy bill of €2.7 million for the Society before the allocation of National Flexi milk.

The Department estimates that the country was 5.47% over quota at the end of January.

Temporary Leasing

The Second Stage of the 2014/2015 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 1,374,341 litres of quota.

There were 277 applicants for this quota.

After distribution, Category 1 quota holders with a quota of less than 350,000 litres (76,990 gallons) receive a maximum of 5,603 litres (1,232 gls) and Category 2 suppliers, above 350,000 litres quota (76,990 gls.) receive a maximum of 2,802 litres (616 gls). The price was 1 cent per litre and the relevant allocations have been added to individuals annual quotas in this month’s statements.

Flexi Milk Allocation

The rules for the distribution of unused milk quota (flexi-milk) in respect of the 2014/2015 quota year as set out by the department are:

-80% of the unused quota to Category 1 producers (quota of less than 350,000 litres)

-20% is allocated to Category 2 producers (quota greater than 350,000 litres).

Spring Dairy Promotion

Spring Dairy 2015

The Drinagh Spring Dairy Promotion is now on. See promotional leaflet in this month’s accounts for more information.

Get your orders in now for your annual supply of dairy requirements. Contact Richard Murphy 086-8272057 or David Shiels 086-6863576 your Commercial Sales Reps or call into your local branch for details.

Promotion ends 28th March 2015.


A Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) remedy records workshop will take place Thursday the 26th February @ 7.30pm in Darrara Agricultural College.

As this is an essential part of the SDAS audit, this special workshop will go through the step by step process of completing the remedy records correctly to ensure a problem free audit.

The final piece of the evening will focus on farm safety and the correct completion of the farm risk assessment.

Any member of the family that will be involved in completing the remedy records or in preparing for the SDAS audit is welcome to attend.

Milk Collection - 1st April 2015


Due to the current quota situation many suppliers will be storing milk for longer than normal at the end of March.

Milk should be stored in stainless steel tanks only. It would be beneficial to reduce the temperature of storage. It is recommended that the bulk tanks and milking machines receive extra cleaning where milk is being stored longer than normal.

Milk will only be collected when it is free from smells or odours. If there is a doubt the milk will have to be tested first.To minimise the risk of contamination, all loads will be TBC tested (as well as antibiotic tested) in Carbery before pumping off on the 1st April.

Where a load is deemed unfit for processing, the load will be isolated and disposed of. The individual farmer samples on that load will be tested to identify the source of the problem.

The cost of the load and its disposal will be charged to the supplier concerned. Suppliers should check with their insurers that they have insurance to cover such an eventuality.

Over Quota

Some farmers that are over quota are preserving milk produced in March for feeding to calves in April. The preserved milk known as ‘Yogmilk’ is preserved using Natural Yogurt.

Advantages of ‘Yogmilk’

  • It is a cost effective method of storing over quota March milk and feeding it in April
  • The Yogurt milk will keep for at least two weeks.
  • Calves have less ‘work’ to do to digest yogurt milk. The bacteria in the yogurt do some of the calf’s stomach work.
  • Calves have lower incidences of stomach upsets.
  • You choose time to feed calves as this system removes calf feeding from milking time.
  • Teats, pipes and dustbin need not be washed due to the effects of the ‘friendly’ bacteria

How it is done:

  1. Add 2 cartons of natural yogurt to 2 gallons of warm milk (not antibiotic or mastitis milk)
  2. Keep in a warm place for 12 hours (eg in the hot press)
  3. Add this to a barrel (45 gallons) of warm (not cooled) milk ( not antibiotic or mastitis milk)
  4. Leave this for a further 12 hours to incubate the good yogurt bugs.
  5. This can then be added to a bigger tank with the extra milk for storing until April.
  6. Excellent hygiene is required at all stages of the process.

Farmers can feed ad-lib Yogmilk using a dustbin, pipe and teat system. Calves can drink 1.5 - 2.25 gallons per day at two weeks of age. Non return valves are placed on pipe ends and ordinary teat ends are used.