This week there was good news for Irish Dairy processors as every company that applied for approval to export dairy products to China has been approved after stringent audits by Chinese authorities.

Meanwhile it seems milk prices have peaked. It’s not a dramatic fall off in price, but Global Dairy Trade (WMP) is back 25%. Dairy market predictions at the start of the year is that they would soften towards the end of the year, but it seems to be happening already.

Silage harvesting started this week at Ballindangan, Mitchelstown, North Cork where Ned O’Keeffe farms with his sons Kevin and Pat. Normally they start in the first week of May but this year the mild spring has progressed grass growth. The ground was closed off last October and received organic pig manure, cattle slurry and two hundredweight (cwts) of nitrates per acre.

There was terrible news in Armagh up to 4,300 pigs have been killed in an intense fire which destroyed three sheds at the farm on Derrywilligan Road, Mullaghglass. Firefighters were called to deal with the blaze at about 05:40 am on Saturday and it took crews seven hours to deal with the fire.

This week also saw the first milk flow through Dairygold’s new milk drying facilities at its Castlefarm site in Mitchelstown, Cork. The new facility accepted its first milk following a 15-month construction and commissioning programme.