Milk intake up by a massive 11.8% – on 2018 figures

The warm winter coupled with the exceptionally dry spring resulted in an abundance of high-quality grass on farms – across the country – this milking season.

Subsequently, cows have been milking particularly well this year, with milk production levels running significantly above 2018 levels – for farmers and processors.

AgriLand spoke with some of the processors to see how production has been going for this year in comparison to last year; but also taking into consideration the poor weather conditions in the spring of 2018.

Lakeland Dairies

Milk production for Lakeland Dairies is running “15% ahead compared to the same period last year”.

Kerry Group

To date, Kerry Group has experienced a “7.2% increase in milk production when compared to the same period last year”. It is also predicting an “8% increase in production” for the month of May – on the same period last year.

Kerry Group is basing this increase in production on the “favorable grass growth in its existing area”, rather than on an increase in cow numbers. This, it says, is because the “Kerry catchment has limited scope for expansion”.

Carbery Group

For Carbery Group, milk production is “up 10% compared to 2018 levels”. Looking at the milk constituents, protein is “up 3% and fat is also up by nearly 3%” on the same period last year.

Carbery Group is putting this down to a combination of the “poor spring” last year and the “quality and amount of grass” on farms this year.


Glanbia has seen an “approximate 13% jump in milk production” to date when it compares its figures to 2018 levels.

CSO figures

These results are also reflected in figures released by the central statistic office (CSO) – this week.

Domestic milk intake by Irish creameries and pasteurisers for the month of April 2019 now stands at 946.7 million litres – compared to 823.1 million litres for April 2018; this is a total increase of 15%.

Looking at the year to date – from January to April – domestic milk intake is up 11.8%, at 2,131.6 million litres in comparison to 2018 figures.

Meanwhile, total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 2.3% from 44.4 million litres in 2018 to 43.4 million litres in 2019.