February 2019 Newsletter

Milk price, SEAI dairy farm grant, spring dairy seminar, chlorine-free detergents, spring agri promotion, Carbery Macra na Feirme, health cert, Carbery shares, correct cluster removal

27 February 2019

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of January is unchanged at 34.53 cents per litre (156.97 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including Winter Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.88 cpl and VAT at 5.4%.

The average price paid for the month is 38.07 cents per litre. This is based on the average butterfat of 4.19% and protein of 3.44%, including SCC bonus and VAT.

SEAI Dairy Farm Grant 2019

Applications opened recently for the SEAI Dairy Farm Grant 2019, with up to €500,000 in funding available for a limited time – early application is advised! Funding is available for high efficiency vacuum and milk pumps, with potential savings for the averaged sized farm of €1,440 in energy bills and 1.6 tonnes in reduced carbon emissions annually.

Information for Applicants: If a milk producer wishes to apply for the grant, application forms along with the application guide are available on the SEAI website: https://www.seai.ie/grants/business-grants/dairy-farm-grant/.

The grant application guide should be read carefully prior to applying and applications must be returned to the email provided (smegrants@seai.ie).

  • This funding is limited and awarded on a first come, first served basis.
  • Items must not be purchased or installed before the applicant receives a grant offer (Letter of Offer).
New Technology Installation Max grant
level (%)
Max grant amount (€)
Excluding VAT
Single phase
Three phase
Replacement vacuum pump
system with VSD
40% €5,000 €3,000
Retrofit of existing vacuum
pump with inverter VSD
40% €1,750 €1,250
Retrofit of existing milk pump
with VSD (including pump
and/or motor as required)
40% €1,000, for single and three phase

Spring Dairy Seminar

Drinagh Spring Dairy Seminar
A view of the large attendance at the Drinagh Spring Dairy Seminar held in Skibbereen mart last month.

Chlorine Free Detergents

The dairy industry in Ireland is moving towards the use of chlorine free detergents. Ornua is looking to phase out the use of chlorine-based dairy detergents over the next number of years. Chlorine is an excellent sanitizer, but it can contribute to higher Trichloromethane (TCM) residues in milk. A legal limit exists for trichloromethane (TCM) within the German butter market. A TCM level of 0.0015mk/kg or less in milk is necessary for Ireland to meet a number of strict export regulations in place for TCM levels in dairy products. Drinagh now stock a range of chlorine free detergents to assist suppliers in making the move to chlorine free.

When starting out on the chlorine free route the first step is concentrate on the bulk tank. Your bulk tank is a smooth shiny surface that is easier to clean than your milking machine.

To ensure consistent results using chlorine free detergents, the recommended wash routine must be followed. Correct water temperature is essential.

If you are considering moving to chlorine free for your bulk tank, please contact Darren/ Tim to discuss a wash routine that will suit your needs.

Spring Agri Promotion 2019

Drinagh Spring Agri Promotion

The Drinagh Spring Agri Promotion is finishing on the 16th March 2019. See instore/ online or contact Richard Murphy/ David Shiels for more information.

Products on offer include: Milk replacer, detergents, fencing, animal health, dairy accessories and much more…………

Carbery Macra Na Feirme

This year Carbery Macra na Feirme is celebrating their 70-year anniversary. To mark the occasion Carbery Macra is hosting a celebratory dinner dance on Saturday March 30th, 2019 in the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery. All past members are welcome to attend. Tickets for the dinner dance are priced at €35 and are available from Patrick McCarthy on (086) 1776096. Carbery Macra Na Feirme are also looking to gather old newspaper articles, photos & minutes books from the past 70 years, please let them know if you have anything that would be of interest.

Health Cert 2019

The 2019 health cert is included in this month’s account. All suppliers are reminded that there signed 2018 health cert should be submitted to the Society before recommencing milk supply this spring.

Carbery Shares

The Carbery Milk Supply Share scheme requires each supplier to have a minimum shareholding aligned to their milk supply. All suppliers received information about their Carbery shares in recent weeks. For any supplier that did not increase their 2018 milk supply on 2017 level no further action is required.


Each supplier has the choice to purchase Carbery shares or processing notes to match their milk supply. Similar to shares, 25 processing notes are required per 1000 litres of new milk supplied in 2018. Processing notes are valued at €1 and shares at €3.71.

Option A Allocate any surplus shares to cover new milk supplied in 2018
Option B Purchase shares to cover any new milk supplied in 2018 (current share price is €3.71)
Option C Purchase processing notes to cover any new milk supplied in 2018

Suppliers may use any mix of option A, B and C in order to meet their share requirements.

The current trading window closes on February 28th 2019. Suppliers with any queries should contact the Share Scheme Co-Ordinator on (023) 8822318 or Seamus Daly / Tim Regan / Darren Lynch on (028) 30800.

Correct Cluster Removal

‘Break, wait, twist and drop’………the key steps in taking clusters off cows. It’s crucial that clusters are not pulled off under vacuum, as this creates air impacts. Air impacts contribute to teat-end damage and can drive potentially bug-laden milk up the teat canal, leading to new cases of mastitis.

Be patient - don’t yank off the clusters!

  1. Break - use the button on the claw bowl or kink the long milk tube to break the vacuum
  2. Wait! 1-2 seconds
  3. Twist - Gently twist the cluster 30-60? - this helps to make sure that all 4 liners release at the same time
  4. Drop - clusters should then drop freely off the teats.


  • Spring Agri Promotion finishes on Saturday 16th of March 2019
  • Carbery shares trading window closes on the 28th of February 2019