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.
Milk production for Lakeland Dairies is running “15% ahead compared to the same period last year”.
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”.
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.
These results are also reflected in figures released by the central statistic office (CSO) – this week.
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.