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Working Together Through a Challenging Year

Dairy

2018 is certainly testing the resilience of farmers. Once the rain arrived at various dates across the Glanbia region, grass responded reasonably quickly, the cows responded very quickly and milk volumes plus constituents recovered.

2018 is certainly testing the resilience of farmers. Once the rain arrived at various dates across the Glanbia region, grass responded reasonably quickly, the cows responded very quickly and milk volumes plus constituents recovered.

I have to say that in all my years in Glanbia, I have never seen our milk suppliers and our farmer facing staff so together. Each group has played their part in working through the drought driven crisis.

Our agribusiness and milk teams have crafted schemes and information programmes which have addressed the crisis with great effect. Feed discounts, imported forage and extended credit in addition to excellent advice, have helped our milk suppliers ensure that herds were maintained in good condition. Proof of this is the phenomenal recovery in milk volumes in recent weeks.

Planning Ahead

Even though we are relieved that the recovery has happened, concerns remain. The major focus is on getting as much forage as possible for the forthcoming winter.

We have considerable plans in place to import forage and straw for our farmers. Planning and budgeting remain critical over the coming months.

Our advisory teams are very focused and technically are the best you will come across. Please use their services and work with them to get the best outcome for your farm and your family. This support is available through your local Glanbia Ireland branch, Business Manager, Farm Development Manager or Milk Quality Manager.

Available Capital

At a recent farmer meeting, we discussed working capital as a major concern. So far Glanbia has made up to €30 million available in extended credit.

Glanbia is also participating in the Inter-Agency Fodder group at national level and we are continuing to encourage the Minister to make a low interest working capital scheme available. This is an extraordinary hour of need and will be until the end of next spring.

Stay Healthy

Finally it has been a year of considerable stress both mentally and physically. It has been suggested that many farmers are worn out from feeding cows almost since last September. The mental strain is also exceptional.

Now is a time to take care of yourselves before the winter and spring. Mistakes happen most when people are tired. This is the most dangerous industry in the country from a health and safety perspective. Watch out for yourselves and also for your neighbours.

Milk Prices

We are doing all we can to sustain milk prices at current levels. There is a good market in Europe where a number of countries have been affected by drought. The world market is weaker for butter and stronger for skim while cheese is much the same overall and more stable. We are monitoring the New Zealand predictions and performance carefully.

Over the coming months let’s continue to work closely together and in future years we will look back on this tough time to recall how we brought our collective shoulders to the wheel and prevailed.

First Published 25 September 2018

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