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Last month 500 milk producers celebrated their success
in achieving the lowest Somatic Cell Counts in their herds.
The occasion was the FBD-sponsored AHI Quality Milk
Awards. The most important message delivered on the day
was that the era of blanket dry cow therapy is coming to
an end. An EU regulation is already in place stipulating that
from 2022, preventative use of antibiotics in dairy herds will
not be allowed.
Irish regulators are currently working on an implementation
process and we will soon fi nd out exactly how the Directive
will be implemented and how it will impact on dry cow
management on Irish farms.
Irish Farmers Monthly has regularly questioned how a
farmer can make informed decisions on managing dry
or milking cows to best e ect without access to milk
recording data. There is still a large minority of milk
producers who do not subscribe to a milk recording
service. In less than three years all dairy herd owners
will have to end their tried and trusted blanket dry cow
therapy management. Selective treatment in some form
or another will be necessary and compulsory. It is a short
lead-in time to make some pretty fundamental changes
in how we manage the udder health of our cows. Some
milk processor support services are better prepared than
others to assist their milk suppliers. Dairygold, for instance,
now has more than 70 per cent of its milk producers
regularly milk recording their cows. A notable feature of
the AHI QMA event was that more than half the producers
recognised at the Awards ceremony as having the lowest
SCCs in the country are located in the Glanbia catchment
area. The Glanbia advisory service is clearly exemplary in
driving up milk quality.
Selective dry cow therapy on the way
changes involved in moving to climate-conscious farming and
food production will force people to pay the "real cost" of that
food the cost, according to Mr McCormack, that farmers have
been paying for years, if not decades.
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Taoiseach hears that food
infl ation is certain to return
The Taoiseach, Leo
Varadkar, has heard
that food infl ation
will certainly result
from the changes
to our farming and
food production
involved in the
transition to the
new climate
context. The
Taoiseach was
speaking at the
recent Annual
General Meeting of
the ICMSA (Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association)
held in Limerick. At the AGM, he heard several experts
predict that the `era of cheap food' is ending, with
the present system designed to get massive volumes
of high quality food to consumers at artifi cially low
prices. Consumers will have to pay what ICMSA
President, Pat McCormack, described as "the real
price of the food they consume". Mr McCormack said
that the cost of the `cheap food' policy introduced
and supported by the EU and its EEC forerunner
had actually been borne by the farmers who had
been forced by corporate retailers to subsidise the
artifi cially low prices at which the food was sold.
The ICMSA President told over 350 delegates that
dairy farmers were getting the same price for milk
today as their parents got 30 years ago while every
farm input had quadrupled over the same period.
The Taoiseach and other speakers, including Minister
Creed and RTE's Philip Boucher-Hayes, were told that
consumers were in for a "very rude awakening" as the