March 2017 Newsletter

Milk Price, Voluntary Milk Supply Management Scheme, Agri Audits Ltd, Sprayer Testing, Carbery Bonus, Milk Recording

20 March 2017

Milk Price

The Board of Directors have increased the milk price for the month of February by 1.5 cents per litre - bringing the price to 33.48 cpl (150.22 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including Winter Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.88 cpl, SDAS bonus of 0.15 cpl and VAT at 5.4%.

The average price paid for the month is 35.96 cpl. This is based on the average butterfat of 4.14% and protein of 3.33%, including SCC, SDAS bonuses and VAT.

Voluntary Milk Supply Management Scheme

Phase One of the Voluntary Milk Supply Management Scheme is nearing completion. Nationally, the scheme will result in €6.5 million for Ireland. Suppliers who submitted a payment request and reduced their supply by at least 20% of their authorized volume are entitled to payment.

The Department will contact each farmer who submitted a payment request outlining in a clear and detailed way what they are entitled to by way of payment. Farmers should receive their payment by the end of March

SDAS / Agri Audits Ltd

Agri Audits are currently offering a 10% discount for all first time customers. Agri Audits Ltd is a West Cork company that assists farmers in preparing for their Bord Bia audit. Specialising in the preparation of farm paperwork such as remedy purchase records, usage records and the farm health and safety statement.

For more information or to avail of this special offer see the Agri Audits promotional leaflet included in this months account.

Sprayer Testing

The Sustainable Use Directive requires that all sprayers more than 5 years old having a boom width of >3m must have passed a Pesticide Application Equipment Test before being used to apply professional use plant protection products.

A number of checks should be carried out on the sprayer before presenting for testing. These include filters cleaned, all nozzles working; pipework & PTO guards in good order and that the sprayer is thoroughly washed.

Drinagh are providing this testing service to their customers. For more information contact James Walsh in Drinagh Central on 028 30800.

Carbery Bonus

The 2016 Carbery bonus previously announced is expected to be paid in the April statement.

To reflect the fact that some of this bonus is in respect of an Ornua bonus 20% of the bonus will be paid on all milk supplied in 2016. The remaining 80% will be paid on the variable milk price only. In all cases the bonus is calculated on kgs of solids.

Benefits from Milk Recording

As we enter the era of precision agriculture, performance data, and how we use it has never been of more importance. For dairy farmers the most important piece of performance data that can be collected is cow milk yield and quality (fat, protein & SCC). Milk recording is the first step to investing in the long term profitability of your herd.

  1. Milk recording allows the farmer to track their best and worst producing cows. This is the biggest benefit of milk recording as it will assist in management decisions such as;
    • which cows are underperforming and may be suitable to cull
    • Which cows are producing in your system and are more suitable for breeding replacements
  2. Regular milk recording will also allow the herd owner to keep track of the SCC of each cow. This will identify and facilitate the management of repeat offenders and could dramatically decrease your herds overall SCC. Knowing the higher SCC cows will allow them to be managed better to avoid them infecting low SCC cows.
  3. Herds that are milk recording get a CellCheck Farm Summary Report after each recording-this report highlights the areas of excellence in terms of mastitis control, and also areas that could be improved. It quantifies the daily loss occurring as a result of high SCC cows, so the herd owner can see what can be gained financially from preventing infection.
  4. Milk recording adds significant value to any surplus breeding stock being sold off farm and increases the chances of a bull calf being selected to enter AI through the Gene Ireland programme.
  5. Milk recording results are fed into ICBF’s genetic evaluations. This allows us to give your cows an EBI with a higher reliability. Milk recording herds also get access to high EBI young bulls through the Gene Ireland programme. Getting these bulls tested in herds that are milk recording allows ICBF to prove these bulls in a shorter period of time.
  6. In autumn 2017, ICBF plans to launch a new culling tool known as ‘Cows Own Worth’ or COW. This will rank cows on their expected profit potential for the rest of their lifetime. The COW will take into account the environmental aspects such as; calving date, age, milk recording results, health events, etc. The COW will act as a guide in choosing which cows to cull from your herd and will only be available for herds that are milk recording.
  7. Cost effective pregnancy diagnosis is now possible through milk samples.
  8. Milk recording data provided the phenotypic (on the ground) data that has allowed ICBF to launch genomic evaluations for the Holstein/Friesian breed. In time more milk records for crossbred cows will enable ICBF to launch genomics for crossbreds.
  9. Herds that milk record at least four times in the calendar year and have the dry off dates recorded for their cows receive an Annual Report every year from ICBF. This report is now being requested by banks when farmers are seeking finance, to benchmark performance and repayment ability.