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Dairy Dilemma: Milk Prices Plunge, Farmers Feel the Pinch


The latest Milk Price Tracker, a collaborative effort between Agriland and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA), has been released, providing an overview of milk prices from major Irish dairy co-ops for the month of June. The tracker uses a simple visual system to indicate changes in base milk prices: a green arrow represents an increase, a blank space indicates no change, and a red arrow signifies a decrease. It is important to note that the prices listed in cent-per-litre (c/L) are calculated using the widely accepted milk-pricing system employed by most Irish co-ops. Additionally, a fixed-mass density factor of 1.03 is used to convert from kilograms (kg) to litres (L), meaning that 1L of milk corresponds to 1.03kg of milk.

The table includes base prices at the standard fat and protein percentages of 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat, which are commonly used by the majority of co-ops in Ireland. It also provides base prices according to standard European criteria of 3.4% protein and 4.2% fat. Furthermore, the table includes a column detailing the maximum attainable price based on consistent levels of 3.3% protein and 3.6% fat.

The milk prices listed in the table are those quoted by co-ops for the month of June in 2023. It is worth noting that all bonus and penalty payments mentioned are based on manufacturing milk. The VAT rate has also changed from 5.6% to 5.5% in accordance with Budget 2023.

For more detailed information on bonuses and penalties for June’s Milk Price Tracker, please refer to the provided link. Some notable bonuses and penalties include the following:

– Arrabawn paid a 0.2c/L (excl. VAT) bonus on all milk with a somatic cell count (SCC) fewer than 200,000 cells/ml.

– Aurivo offered a milk storage bonus to suppliers who had a minimum annual supply of 160,000L and enough refrigerated storage capacity to cover seven milkings at peak production. The storage bonus of 0.44c/L was taken from the ‘C’ from September 2021.

– Aurivo also provided a 0.21c/L (excl. VAT) protein bonus for every 0.05% protein achieved above the co-op average protein percentage in an individual month. Additionally, they paid 2c/L (excl. VAT) from their stability fund on all June milk.

– Carbery Group paid a bonus of 0.5c/L (excl. VAT) from March to October and a 0.88c/L (excl. VAT) bonus from November to February to suppliers who achieved an SCC of fewer than 200,000 cells/ml. In September 2022, Carbery introduced a sustainability bonus of 0.5c/L, which increased to 1c/L for 2023. This bonus is paid on all milk supplied by farmers who have committed to Carbery’s FutureProof programme and completed three actions.

– Dairygold does not apply penalties to total bacteria counts (TBCs) of fewer than 75,001 cells/ml in the months of January, February, November, and December. Penalties are imposed on TBCs exceeding 75,000 cells/ml in those months. Dairygold also offers a maximum bonus attainable by farmers who meet the minimum requirements for six criteria (TBC, thermoduric, sediment, SCC, lactose, and inhibitors), amounting to 0.4c/L (excl. VAT). Furthermore, they provide a 0.75c/L Grassroots Sustainability Bonus payment for various factors such as water quality, protected urea, soil health, education, milk recording, herd health, and the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS).

– TirlΓ‘n pays a Sustainability Action Payment of 0.47c/L (excl. VAT) for June.

– Kerry offers a 0.4c/L (excl. VAT) bonus on all milk with an SCC fewer than 200,000 cells/ml and a 0.1c/L (excl. VAT) bonus for SDAS.

– North Cork provides a 0.2c/L (excl. VAT) bonus on all milk with an SCC fewer than 200,000 cells/ml.

– Strathroy pays a 0.25c/L (excl. VAT) bonus on all milk with an SCC fewer than 200,000 cells/ml. They also offer a 0.25c/L (excl. VAT) bonus on all milk with a TBC of fewer than 10,000 cells/ml.

– Tipperary grants a bonus of 0.25c/L (excl. VAT) on all milk with an SCC below 250,000 cells/ml. Additionally, Tipperary Co-op provides a 0.95c/L (excl. VAT) payment for its farm input support scheme in June.

These bonuses and penalties are subject to the specific criteria and conditions set by each co-op.

Thomas Lyons
Thomas Lyons
Thomas, the founder and chief editor at Top Rated, harbours a deep-seated passion for business, news, and product reviews. His thirst for knowledge and experience has led him on a journey across the length and breadth of the country, enabling him to garner a wealth of insight. At TopRated.ie, his sole aim is to deliver meticulously researched news and provide impartial reviews of fact checked Irish companies, thus helping readers make well-informed decisions.


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