September 2016 Newsletter

Milk Price & Supply, SDAS Update, T.B. Reactors/Inconclusives, Farm Hazardous Waste, Mastitis Control Programme, Sensitivity Testing, Milk Recording

29 September 2016

Milk Price & Supply

The Board of Directors have increased the milk price for the month of August by 1.5 cents per litre - bringing the price to 27.24 cpl (123.83 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including milk price support of 0.5 cents per litre (cpl) by the Co-Op, Summer Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.5 cpl, SDAS bonus of 0.15 cpl and VAT at 5.2%.

The average price paid for the month is 30.10 cpl. This is based on the average butterfat of 4.09% and protein of 3.52%, including milk price support, SCC, SDAS bonuses and VAT.

Milk supply from January to the end of August was 132,504,541 litres (29,146,201 gallons). This represents an increase of 6.31% from than same time period last year.

SDAS Update

All suppliers who have yet to complete their first SDAS audit are reminded that they must do so before the 31st March 2017. Any supplier wishing to receive their maximum bonus back payment must complete their audit by the 31st December 2016.

The period between now and the start of calving is the ideal time to prepare for and carry out the audit. Delaying the audit till after the 1st of February will result in an increased workload during a very busy time of the year.

Any one requiring help or assistance should contact Tim Regan/ Darren Lynch.


Milk suppliers are reminded that milk from reactor and inconclusive cows should not be offered for sale. When a reactor or inconclusive cow is disclosed on a farm, the Co-Op is informed by the Department. These animals should be isolated and their milk discarded.

The Co-Op must keep records to demonstrate the measures taken to ensure that milk from reactor or inconclusive cows is not collected. The Department may inspect a suppliers collection records for compliance with this directive.

Farm Hazardous Waste

farm hazardous waste collection centres

A farm hazardous waste collection day will run at Skibbereen Mart on Wednesday the 26th of October from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

This provides an excellent opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste in a manner that protects human health, livestock and the environment.

Wastes that will be collected on the day include:

  • Pesticides and biocides
  • Veterinary and animal healthcare wastes
  • Needles and syringes
  • Paints
  • Oil filters
  • Antifreeze/ brake fluid

(all above wastes charged @ €2/kg)

Wastes that are free to dispose of on the day include:

  • Wastes oils
  • Electrical equipment
  • Oils
  • Tractor/ car/ fencer batteries
  • Fluorescent lamp & CFL’s

For more information log on to or LoCall 1890 33 55 99

Mastitis Control Programme

All purchases of intramammary tubes-both milking cow and dry cow products are by veterinary prescription only. The regulations allow milk processing Co-Ops, who operate an approved Mastitis Control Programme, to provide veterinary prescriptions for all suppliers who sign up to this programme. Drinagh Co-Op operates an approved mastitis control programme that allows for the issuance of veterinary prescriptions. The script supplied will be valid for up to 12 months.

Included in this months statement is a Mastitis Control Programme Contract for anybody who wishes to join the programme or renew their contract.

This years contract also contains information on the 7 steps of a good Mastitis Control Programme which should be retained. If you wish to join the programme, fully complete and sign the Mastitis Control Programme Contract and return the completed contract only to the Central Office.

A copy of the contract, signed by the vet and a representative of the Co-Op will be returned to you for your own records with the prescription in due course.

Sensitivity Testing

It is not possible to tell which bacteria are responsible for infections by looking at milk, udders or somatic cell counts – you actually have to grow the bacteria present in the milk to know for sure. This procedure is called sensitivity analysis.

To get a good profile of what bacteria is in the herd it is recommended to test 4 samples – one from the bulk tank and 3 samples from individual high cell count cows. These cows should not have been treated with a milking cow tube in the previous 100 days before the sample is taken. As this can be difficult to achieve towards the end of lactation – best practice is to take samples from problem cows earlier in the lactation before a high SCC cow is treated with a mastitis tube. These samples can be stored in the freezer until sending off for sensitivity analysis later in the year.

Sterile sample collection is the most important step for successful culturing of milk. Poor technique may give misleading results. Only a small amount of milk is required for analysis – trying to get a large sample increases the chance of contamination.

For fresh samples, it is important that the sample is received by the lab within 24 hours of the sample being taken.

For further information contact AHL in Shinagh @ 023 8854100

Milk Recording

Milk recording remains the best tool to establish which cows in the herd are the most productive and ‘paying their way’. It will also give individual cow SCC levels and identifies which cows replacements should be selected from. Munster Cattle Breeding is offering one recording this autumn and 4 recordings next year however payment for the 5 recording is not required until the 2nd half of 2017. See milk recording leaflet in this months accounts

To avail of this contact Munster Cattle Breeding Group on: 022 – 43 228