Dairy farmers’ backs are to the wall, according to the IFA, and only higher milk prices will help with the massive expenditure increase on fodder and feed necessary to keep the milk flowing.
IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan said representatives from all around the country were vocal and frustrated, and demanded an increase of at least 1c/l.
Financial & Mental Pressures
“Teagasc last week revealed that dairy farmers would spend an average of 75% more on feed in 2018 – this is cash many simply do not have. Our Committee reps testified to the financial and mental pressures suffered by farm families trying to keep cows fed while dealing with the family and back to school/college demands on their cash flow,” Phelan said.
“European markets have been firming in recent weeks with most European indicators for early September suggesting milk price equivalents around 33-34c/l net of VAT – that’s at least 2c/l more than most co-ops are paying.”
Phelan highlighted that Arla said that it will move all of its profits for 2018, estimated at €300 million, back to its supplier farmers, and he emphasised that Irish farmers “cannot be left behind”.
At the Committee meeting, the IFA demanded that co-ops roll all top ups/bonuses back into the base milk price, return back to farmers the true value of improved dairy prices (at least 1c/l on August milk), commit to continuing to return any further improvements in coming months to help farmers pay the fodder , and, over the coming months, eliminate the unsustainable gaps which co-ops have allowed developing between their milk prices.
“The Committee recognises the efforts made by co-ops to support farmers through the near 12-month fodder crisis. However, the financial and mental pressures on many farmers demand higher milk prices to help them buy the fodder and feed they will need to sustain autumn supplies. Markets justify higher prices, and co-ops must deliver them without delay,” he said.
He added that without supporting farmers in paying for fodder, co-ops will not get the milk volumes they have budgeted on.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.