Irish milk production falls by nearly 6% in April

Milk production on farms in the Republic of Ireland fell by nearly 6% in the fourth month of this year, according to statistics released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 815.5 million litres for April of this year; this was 5.9 % below the corresponding figure for 2017, representing a drop of just over 50 million litres.

News of this decrease follows on from a drop in production of 1.1% during the month of March. But the production figures for the three-month period still remained 2.5% ahead of the same period in the previous year.

As a result of the most recent decrease, cumulative milk production figures for the first four months of 2018 are 0.9% behind where they were at this time last year.

Between January and April of this year, a total of 1,892 million litres were produced on Irish farms – compared to 1,908.7 million litres during the corresponding time frame in 2017.

Image source: CSO

Comparing the April 2018 milk produce figures with those for April 2017 shows that total milk sold for human consumption increased by 0.9 % to 44.2 million litres; while butter production was down 0.6 % to 24,090t.

Focus on water quality issues

Earlier this week, CEO of Arrabawn Co-op Conor Ryan stated that a focus on water quality will be central to avoiding dairy expansion issues experienced in the likes of New Zealand and Holland.

Suppliers were told at the co-op’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that sustainability and the environment must be prioritised going forward.

Commenting on the matter, Ryan said: “We are going to be hearing a lot about sustainability and the environment going forward and within this area, water quality is going to be a major focus.

If we are to avoid the situation that Holland finds itself in today – where they have to reduce their cow numbers by 160,000 cows – we are going to have to be very proactive and responsible for water quality issues.

As it stands, Arrabawn is currently training up staff to help farmers with water quality testing and other related matters, he added.