Business as usual for dairy co-ops in the west despite storm

All Aurivo milk tankers are on the road this morning, according to the dairy co-op’s Farm Services’ Manager Anthony Walsh.

“We had more trouble getting through to farms on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, due to the frost and ice. However, high winds can cause problem for our tankers. The weather forecast is for the storm to worsen during the day. So we will be keeping an eye on that.”

Meanwhile, the ESB is reporting that 17,000 homes and businesses, mostly in the West, are without electricity this morning. Some of these may be dairy farms, in which case both Teagasc and Aurivo representatives are advising that affected producers should contact their milk buyers.

A technical expert, working within the dairy processing sector, has confirmed that with the modern cooling facilities now operating on many Irish dairy farms the likelihood of a significant hike in milk temperature resulting from a power outage at this time of the year is remote. This is on the basis of an overnight power cut lasting in the region of four to five hours.

“On-farm milk samples are taken every day,” he said.

“And it’s all about trends. In the case of a farmer with an excellent TBC track record, a very accommodating approach will be taken in the event of a one-off spike in milk bacteria levels. All Irish processers want to work with their suppliers on a helpful basis.”

Teagasc dairy advisors in Co Mayo are confirming that today’s storm is having little or no effect at farm level.

“The main calving season will not get under way in this part of the world for another few weeks,” said Claremorris-based Peter Comer.

“The good news is that most cows were dried off in good condition last back end. Grass availability was excellent at that time. And this bodes well for the calving season ahead.”

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