Dairy Fact Sheet

Farming Sectors
Dairy Fact Sheet

Dairy Farming and Milk Production – 2014

17,000 Dairy farmers

Average herd size approx. 60 cows

Average production: 300,000 litres

Yield per cow approx : 5,000 litres

National dairy herd : 1.14 million cows

National milk production: 5.4 billion litres

Production is essentially grass-based, and therefore very seasonal, with peak/trough ratio of 7 to 1 (May versus January).

Irish milk production graph to Oct 14


Milk Utilisation

Production of the main dairy products in 2013:

Liquid milk 479 m litres
Butter 152,300t
SMP 48,900t*
WMP 38,000t (2011)
Whey powder 100,000t (2011)
Casein 42,000t (2011)
Cheese (mostly cheddar) 182,800t

* Partial due to confidentiality issues

Ireland’s milk purchasers/processors are mostly co-operatives

The following is a map of the catchment area of Ireland’s dairy co-operatives for 2009, as produced by the Irish Farmers’ Journal.  Apart from the purchase of Newmarket by Kerry, of Donegal by Connacht Gold (now Aurivo), there is little change to report.


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