At least 1,096 farmers have ceased milking cows since quotas ended in 2015.

Figures from the country’s dairy processors show that some 440 farmers exited milk production from Kerry Group since quotas were abolished, with 200 ceasing milk production with Dairygold.

Based on Dairygold’s 2020 milk planning census it has “estimated that an average of 18 milk suppliers will exit milk production each year over the next five years”.


It said that suppliers leaving had an average herd size of about 40 cows.

Glanbia did not have figures since 2015, but in 2019 it said 68 dairy suppliers ceased milk production in 2019.

In the west, the number of dairy farmers supplying Aurivo dropped by 168 since the end of quotas and it said that the average production on these farms was 131,000l.

Forty farmers supplying Arrabawn have ceased milking since 2015.

A spokesperson for Carbery said that “since the end of quotas the number of suppliers who have ceased milking is almost three times the number of new entrants coming on board”.