IFA National Dairy Committee Chairman Tom Phelan said farmers would be disappointed by the majority of co-ops which, thus far, have held the June milk price base when market returns justified an increase of at least 1c/l.
He said at the very minimum, co-ops must follow the example set out by Glanbia and Dairygold this month. As the continued drought cuts next winter’s fodder reserves and reduces current grazing options, they must provide farmers with generous credit provisions for feed and fertiliser purchases.
“Farmers needed a base milk price increase in June, and with the exception of Glanbia so far, co-ops have denied them. Some have at best paid a weather bonus which may not hold beyond June supplies. This is deeply unfair when market returns, even allowing for some recent easing, would have comfortably allowed for at least 1c/l base price increase,” Tom Phelan said.
“At this stage, many dairy farmers, especially but not exclusively in the South and East of the country, are in very difficult situations, having eaten into their first cut silage, grazed their second cut, and wondering where the next bit of grazing will come from. They must be given the means to purchase additional feed as easily as possible to allow them plan for the rest of what is turning out to be one of the most challenging years their generation has experienced,” he said.
“I call on co-ops, most of which made good profits in 2017, to follow Glanbia and Dairygold and come forward promptly with favourable credit facilities to support their suppliers and members in purchasing feed and other inputs over the coming weeks. I also call on them to ready themselves immediately to provide for a significant base milk price increase on July supplies,” he concluded