March 2015 Newsletter

Milk price & supply, milk bonus, super levy on account, spring dairy promotion, SDAS workshop, Johnes programme, Greener Dairy Farms programme

25 March 2015

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of February 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 February was 5,265,972 litres (1,158,349 gallons) with an average butterfat of 4.05% and an average protein of 3.26%.

This represents an increase of 235,818 litres (51,873 gallons) on butterfat adjusted supply compared to February 2014.

The Co-Op was 6.76% over quota at the end of the February. If supply matches quota for the remainder of the quota year, this will result in a Super Levy bill of €2.59 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.

2015 Milk Bonus

At a recent meeting the Board agreed that any milk bonus to be paid by the Society based on 2015 supplies will be subject to suppliers having purchases greater than 7.0 cents per litre for the full bonus. Purchases between 5.0 and 7.0 cents will receive half of any bonus. Purchases of less than 5.0 cents per litre will not qualify for a bonus.

Super Levy on Account

A proposal to spread the payment of the Super Levy fine over three years, interest free is expected to be announced shortly. As a result the Society has changed its policy for charging on account for over quota milk supply. Suppliers will still get a 10,000 litre leeway when their milk quotas are full. Above the leeway the Super Levy on account deduction will be 5 cents per litre (as opposed to 15 cents per litre up to now). The new reduced rate will be back dated to cover all 2014/2015 milk supply.

Suppliers are reminded that the rate of Super Levy for 2014/2015 is 28.6565 cents per litre.

Spring Dairy Promotion

Ends 28th March

The Spring Dairy Promotion as advertised previously must end Saturday 28th March 2015.

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.


Due to the success of the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS) remedy records workshop held in Darrara last month, Drinagh have decided to host another SDAS workshop in the West Cork Hotel on the 28th of March at 7.30pm.

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

Reminder: 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 is also 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.


Included in this month’s accounts is an application form for the Johnes Pilot Programme 2015. The Carbery and AHI programmes have been fully aligned for 2015. The main points of the programme are;

  • Individual cow testing and a herd risk assessment must be carried out
  • Suppliers can test through blood samples by arrangement with their vet or use milk samples from milk recording
  • Carbery will pay a €100 subsidy towards the cost of individual cow testing and the Department will pay the cost of the risk assessment.
  • Completed application forms should be returned to the Co-Op before Thursday, 9th April 2015.
  • Participants in the AHI scheme last year recently received a form to renew their participation for 2015. Suppliers are only required to return one AHI application form. The Co-Op will forward all applications to AHI on your behalf.
  • The programme is voluntary.

The €100 subsidy for last year’s scheme is credited in this month’s accounts.

Greener Dairy Farms Programme

Among the findings from the Carbery Greener Dairy Farms Programme is the importance of Economic Breeding Index (EBI).

Economic Breeding Index is a single figure profit index aimed at helping farmers identify the most profitable bulls and cows for breeding dairy herd replacements.

EBI has a direct effect on sustainable milk production. Improving overall EBI is a key component in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing milk solids production per cow. This increase in efficiency is an important factor in reducing emissions per kg of milk solids and improving farm profitability.

In the Carbery Greener Dairy Farms Programme the average herd EBI of the Carbery farmers was 141 in 2012. Overall an average target EBI of 156 was set by the farmers which were to be achieved by 2015. This increase in EBI would result in an average increase in net profit per farmer of €1,826 over the three years and a reduction of 3% in Green House Gases.


Spring Dairy Promotion ends 28th March

SDAS remedy records workshop Thurs 28th March.