May 2020 Dairy Newsletter

Milk Price; Drinagh Milk & Trading Bonus; Grass Ensilability Testing; Johnes Payment 2019; Bord Bia Remote Auditing

20 May 2020

Milk Price

The milk price for April has been reduced by 1.0 cent per litre bringing the price to 32.01 cents per litre (145.47 cents per gallon) at 3.60% butterfat and 3.30% protein, including Summer Somatic Cell Count (SCC) bonus of 0.5 cpl and VAT at 5.4%. This includes 1.5 cents per litre milk price support from the stability fund.

The average price paid for the month is 33.83 cents per litre. This is based on the average butterfat of 3.90% and protein of 3.39%, including SCC bonus and VAT.

Drinagh Milk & Trading Bonus

Feed, fertilizer and milk bonuses already announced are being paid in this month’s accounts. The bonus is €10.00 per tonne of fertilizer and €15.00 per tonne of feed purchased in 2019.

The Milk bonus of 0.5 cents per litre on 2019 milk supplies where purchases from the Society were greater than 7.0 cents per litre and 0.25 cents per litre bonus applied where purchases were less than 7.0 cents and greater than 5.0 cents per litre is also paid this month.

The milk bonus is paid based on kgs of milk solids supplied. For the full bonus, this equates to 5.1295 cents per kilo of fat and 7.6943 cents per kilo of protein.

This brings the total bonuses paid this month by the Society to €2,145,215.

Grass Ensilability Testing

Testing grass for nitrogen and sugar levels before cutting will give an indication if the silage crop is ready for harvesting.

If you wish to receive same day results, please ensure that all samples are delivered to the central office in Drinagh before 1pm daily.

Samples dropped in after 2pm will not be tested until the following day.

When collecting the sample:

  1. The grass should be cut with a scissors/clippers at the same level as the mower.
  2. Collect a representative sample across the field – avoiding gaps and headlands.
  3. Approx. half a shopping bag of grass is enough to complete the test.

Quality Milk Suppliers

The top three milk suppliers nominated for the 2019 Carbery Milk Quality Awards by Drinagh based on Butterfat, Protein, T.B.C., S.C.C. results are as follows:

  • Anthony O’Shea, Gories, Bantry.
  • John O’Regan, Kielbronogue, Schull.
  • William Kingston, Tooreen, Skibbereen.

We congratulate the three finalists on their remarkable achievement of consistently producing top quality milk.

Due to current restrictions the overall winner of the award will not be announced until later in the year.

Johnes Payment 2019

Johnes payment for testing completed last year as part of Johnes Control Programme have been credited to each participants account in April. Participants in the programme have been reimbursed €2.75 per eligible animal tested in 2019.

Bord Bia Remote Auditing

Where no further scope exists to extend current SDAS certification and to facilitate ongoing membership of the QA schemes, Bord Bia has established a remote auditing service as an alternative to the normal on-site farm audit.

The remote audit is conducted over the phone and will cover everything that is usually covered on-site but uses technology to help the auditor get a picture of the farm.

Your auditor will contact you a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your audit to explain the process and arrange a date for the remote audit phone call. In advance of the audit you will be required to send photographs of the dairy, milking parlour, animal housing, remedy records etc., so that the auditor can visually assess all areas of the farm.

Your usual Bord Bia on farm audit will resume as soon as practically possible once the situation returns to normal. If you require any assistance in completing your audit, please contact Ciara Sheehan on 087 7384736.

(for Member)
Instruction on Upload
(for Member)
1. Dairy - Bulk tank Area Please upload zoomed out photo(s) of the bulk tank and direct surrounding area.
Note: this applies to both internal and external bulk tanks.
2. Milk Collection Area Please upload zoomed out photo(s) of the Milk Collection Area.
3. Parlour Area Please upload zoomed out photo(s) of the Milking Parlour.
4. Milking Equipment (Jars
and Clusters)
Please upload photo(s) of some key milking equipment; e.g. Jars and Clusters.
5. Silage Pit / Storage Area Please upload photo(s) of all Silage Pit / Storage Area(s).
6. Feed Storage
Please upload photo(s) of all Feed Storage area(s).
7. Animal Housing Please upload photo(s) of Animal Housing facilities with at least 1 photo of each building.
Note - Please provide photos of housing facilities even if animals are currently outdoors.
8. Stock Please upload at least 1 photo of young and adult stock.
9. Crush and Animal
Handling Facilities
Please upload photo(s) of the cattle crush and associated handling facilities.
Note - where sheep are present on the farm please upload photo(s) of sheep handling facilities.
10. Medicine Storage Cabinet (open) Please upload photo(s) of the Medicine Storage Cabinet.
11. First Aid Kit (open) Please upload photos(s) of the first aid kit showing it is fully stocked.
12. Waste Plastic Please upload evidence of waste plastic storage or recent receipt for disposal.

Fertiliser for Second Cut Silage

Second cut silage will require approximately 100Kg N/ha (80 units/acre) with high perennial ryegrass content swards (recently reseeded ground) requiring higher levels of nitrogen compared to older swards.

Make allowances for N, P and K values of slurry used. If the first cut did not receive slurry, then an extra application should be targeted later in the year – stick to normal levels (2000 gallons/ acre) of slurry application when saving your second cut. Excess potash from slurry that is carried in with the crop will lead to a range of problems at the feed-out stage next winter. These include milk fever, hypomagnesaemia and other metabolic disorders through depressed magnesium absorption in the rumen.

Apply fertiliser promptly after the first cut and as evenly as possible. Over-fertilising silage ground with excess nitrogen (N) will have a negative effect on both crop preservation and animal performance. Too much nitrogen in grass at cutting reduces grass sugar levels & increases buffering capacity.

To reduce this risk, allow enough time for any N applied to be taken up by the crop before deciding cutting date. Approximately 2 units of N per day are used up by the crop in good growing conditions.

All second cut should also receive approximately 16-20 units of sulphur.

Soil Index 1 2 3 4
P Required kg/ha 30 20 10 0
K Required kg/ha 70 50 35
N Required kg/ha 100

* Reduce N, P, K by 25:4:25 kg per ha on older swards with low growth potential