March 2020 Newsletter

Covid-19 Message to Suppliers, Nitrates Derogation Changes, Carbery Share Requirement, Johnes Programme Payments

23 March 2020

Covid-19 – Message to Suppliers

Dear Milk Supplier,

It probably is now over cliched, but we are going through an unprecedented crisis. Apart at all from the toll that Coronavirus Covid-19 will take on people at a personal level it also has the potential to seriously disrupt agricultural supply chains and processing.

At Drinagh our primary concern is the health and safety of our staff as we strive to keep the business running. Our business is diverse but critical to the community at many levels. Certain measures have been implemented to mitigate the risk to staff and more will undoubtedly follow as the situation evolves. Drinagh staff continue to carry out frontline functions and we are all rightly proud of their dedication and loyalty. It is understandable that some staff would be anxious and worried in the current crisis especially if they are living with or caring for a vulnerable family member. We would earnestly request you to be mindful of the safety of staff and adhere to any procedures requested of you and be understanding of any possible delays. Please see the guidelines to be followed when dealing with Drinagh staff in the opposite panel:

Carbery too has taken measures to ensure the continuity of milk processing. The splitting of shifts and the isolation of different crews and personnel being two of the many. Milk processing is a critical function as far as the dairy farmers of West Cork are concerned and we commend the Carbery staff for their flexibility and efforts.

This is an extremely challenging event, but we will come through it if we work together. It is important too that you look out for your neighbours and fellow milk producers. Seldom has there been a time when caring and neighbourliness are in such need.

Joe O’Sullivan
Chief Executive

Covid-19 Coronavirus Public Health Advice

Protocol when dealing with Drinagh Staff:

  1. Social distancing – from our drivers, staff and other customers in the stores. Especially staff at the point of sale.
  2. Ensure excellent hand hygiene and sanitizing. Sanitize your hands on the way in and out of our stores. If you have gloves wear them when you enter our stores and around the area on your farm where milk collection drivers will be operating.
  3. Make a list of the items you want when visiting a Drinagh store, this will help you to be efficient as possible allowing you to get in and out of the stores as quickly as possible.
  4. Where possible – enter our stores on your own and avoid bringing other members of the family with you. Reducing the number of people entering our stores will reduce to risk to all customers and staff.
  5. As always, you also have the option of ringing your local Drinagh store and organising your order over the phone.
  6. Do your utmost to assist all branch personnel when visiting our stores.
  7. If you feel unwell – do not visit our stores or interact with our staff. Contact your GP or the HSE for guidelines.
  8. Ensure that you have at least one person who knows the running of your farm in the event that you may fall sick yourself.

We would like to thank you for your support and cooperation during these extraordinary times.

Nitrates Derogation Changes 2020 – Grassland Measuring

Glassland Measuring

Derogation farmers must record through appropriate software technology the grass produced annually on the farm from 2020. If Derogation farmers haven’t the required skills to undertake this measure, derogation farmers must undertake training in grassland management which must be completed by the end of 2021.

Measurements will be verified based on the dates of record entry (as outlined below). It is the responsibility of the derogation farmer to complete grass measurement and recording of grassland data. A minimum 20 grass measurements per annum (either - rising plate meter or visual assessment supplemented with cut & weigh method) on the main grazing platform only.

The following measurements are required per month over the season as follows;

February (1)
March (2)
April to September (14)
October (2)
November (1)

Please contact your advisor if you require any information about the above new requirements. Closing date for Nitrates Derogation applications is April 8th, 2020.

Milk Price

The milk price for the month of February is unchanged at 33.47 cents per litre (152.15 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%. This includes 0.5 cent per litre milk price support from the stability fund.

The average price paid for the month is 36.89 cents per litre. This is based on the average butterfat of 4.26% and protein of 3.40%, including SCC bonus and VAT.

Carbery Share Requirement

Suppliers that did not purchase the required Carbery shares or processing notes during the latest trading window in February 2020 will now be assigned processing notes. This is required for anyone who did not respond to meet their minimum share requirement for 2019 milk supply.

Carbery will request payment from the Society who in turn will charge the cost of the processing notes to the individual supplier’s accounts that did not respond. The individual accounts will be charged later in the year.

If you wish to spread the cost of the processing notes out over several months instead of having the full cost charged in one month please contact Seamus Daly, Tim Regan or Darren Lynch.

Johnes Programme Payments

It is hoped that payments in relation to 2019 Johnes testing for Phase two of the control progamme will be issued in early April 2020. Once all criteria are met each participant in the programme will be reimbursed €2.75 per eligible animal tested in 2019.


  • Johnes programme payments to issue in April
  • Derogation Notice: Are you meeting your requirements around grassland measuring