Progressive Genetics has informed its milk recording customers that the price of milk recording will increase by 9% effective April 1 (2021).

AgriLand spoke to Progressive Genetics milk recording manager, Stephen Connolly, regarding the price increase.

Stephen said: ”The cost increase is due to the Revenue Commissioners increasing the VAT rate at which milk recording is charged from 4.5% to 13.5%.

In Ireland the milk recording organisations had been availing of a VAT concession on milk recording which was given by Revenue in 1993.

”The concession was that VAT on milk recording would be charged at the reduced rate of a third of the service rate. This meant the effective rate of VAT being charged on milk recording was 4.5%.

”In January 2020 Revenue approached milk recording organisations and instructed the industry that the concession will no longer apply and that VAT at 13.5% should be applied.

Milk recording organisations did make representations and submissions to Revenue arguing for the retention of the concession, but these proved unsuccessful.

Stephen noted: ”Progressive Genetics did not increase the VAT rate in January 2020, instead we took the decision to absorb the VAT increase in its entirety for 2020, with other companies already passing on the VAT increase to its customers.

”Effectively this means that milk recording will now increase to between €12 and €12.50 per cow for a farmer that carries out four recordings a year, this increase will only affect manual recording.”

Benefits of milk recording

Milk recording offers a number of advantages to farmers that may have been overlooked in the past and not thought of as that important.

The ban on the blanket use of antibiotics at dry-off is set to come into effect at the start of 2022, which is not that far away in the grand scheme of things.

Therefore, this gives farmers who don’t milk record their cows, a chance to build up a profile of their herd and identify cows that have a high somatic cell count (SCC).

By milk recording now, you are giving yourself a chance to show what cows will require antibiotic treatment at drying off and what cows won’t.

In order to build up a profile of your herd and demonstrate why you might need to administer antibiotics at drying off then the sooner you begin milk recording the better.

According to Teagasc, a minimum of five or six milk recordings are needed to build up a picture of the pattern of mastitis in your herd.

Some advantages of milk recording include:
  • Track your best and worst producers;
  • Detect high-SCC cows and control your herd’s average SCC;
  • Useful as a culling tool;
  • Add value to your herd through improved herd records.