The National Milk Agency has raised concerns over the increase in the production costs of “drinking milk” and described the changes as being “unviable and unsustainable”.
The Agency commissioned a report from Dr Joe Patton, Liquid Milk Specialist, Teagasc on the increased cost of winter feeding for specialist milk producers in 2012 and it was he who concluded that “while all milk producers will incur increased feed costs in 2012, specialist producers of milk for processing for liquid consumption on the domestic market, will incur additional feed costs in excess of 4 cents per litre on their milk supplies during the winter months of October 2012 to February 2013”.
“The wettest summer in a quarter of a century has resulted in a significant reduction in the volume and quality of on farm forage production for feeding livestock for milk production in the winter months,” the report pointed out. “This has led to an increased requirement for and usage of supplementary protein feeds, the prices of which have increased substantially compared with 2011. These feed cost increases particularly affect the production costs of winter milk supplies by the 1,900 specialist milk producers, who supply the domestic fresh milk market.”