December 14, 2011


Ireland excels in EU's milk production


The European dairy production figures show that Ireland is leading when it comes to augmenting national milk output ahead of quota abolition.


Ireland produced EUR0.11 (US$0.14) more milk from January-September this year than it did in the same period last year.


This EUR0.11 (US$0.14) increase was by far the biggest national increase recorded across the EU member states.


France, Latvia and Austria recorded the next highest national increases, at EUR0.054 (US$0.07), EUR0.049 (US$0.06) and EUR0.039 (US$0.05) higher on-year respectively.


Britain, Spain, Germany, Holland and Poland all recorded national increases of up to EUR0.03 (US$0.04) in the same period.


Milk production fell dramatically in Bulgaria -EUR0.112 (-US$0.15), while Romania –EUR0.06 (-US$0.08) and Hungary –EUR0.065 (-US$0.08) also fell considerably on-year.


The expansion trend in Ireland looks set to continue, with figures from the ICBF showing that dairy cow numbers are expected to increase by EUR0.025 (US$0.03) next year.


The ICBF analysis also shows a projected EUR0.041 (US$0.05) increase in cow numbers in 2013.


There are substantial regional differences to these trends, with counties such as Kilkenny expected to see increases in the order of EUR0.045 (US$0.06) for the next two years, while other counties, for example Dublin and Wicklow, are expected to see record decreases.


Cork, which has the highest number of dairy cows in the country at 274,539, is expected to record a EUR0.024 (US$0.03) increase next year and a EUR0.038 (US$0.05) rise in 2013. This would bring the county's dairy cow population to 291,991 by 2013.


However, the ICBF warned that the overall expected increase was based on historical county and national trends and were dependent on future industry circumstances such as milk price, quota availability, weather and efficiency.


"Each of these could result in a net increase/decrease in either the number of disposals and/or the number of calved animals coming forward on an annual basis, with consequential effects on the projected estimates," the report warned.


However, it added: "Indications from the current breeding season, in terms of levels of dairy AI usage and also use of dairy stock bulls, suggests that the increase in cow numbers presented for 2012 at EUR0.025 (US$0.03) and 2013 at EUR0.041 (US$0.05) will continue for 2014."


The ICBF predicted a EUR0.032 (US$0.04) increase in cow numbers for the past year, while the actual increase came in close to the estimate at EUR0.031 (US$0.04).

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