Some farmers have reacted angrily to the Munster Bovine compensation details announced last week for the poor conception rate of the AI sire Cloonigney Canning.

Farmers are suggesting the compensation rate used of €150 per straw used plus other costs is not enough and that a missed heat has always been valued at €250.

Munster Bovine is using a Teagasc report which is based on national herd figures, to justify the compensation rate. Given the number of Canning straws used, Teagasc has instructed advisers not to engage individually with clients on this matter as it would take too much time.

The Teagasc paper notes that the costs, in reality, of poor conception could be much bigger on an individual farm, depending on the circumstances.

In addition, we understand it appears Munster Bovine company policy is to compensate farmers with a credit note in lieu for either product or services rather than make a payment to farmers.

Another farmer contacted the Irish Farmers Journal, claiming he hadn’t been compensated for another AI sire who had poor conception rates, called Triplestar the year previously.

Munster Bovine has another problem in the west of Ireland, where a number of farmers have complained of poor conception rates. This is currently under investigation by Munster Bovine. We understand that Munster Bovine matters were raised at the Dairygold board meeting this week.

Dairygold is a two-thirds shareholder in Munster Bovine but no further details of the discussion were revealed following the board meeting.

Cork dairy farmer Oliver Looney said: “I’m deeply unhappy with the timing of this and the amount of compensation.

“I used 14 straws of this Canning bull last year in the second week of the season and I have one heifer calf as the other 13 cows repeated.

“I normally sell heifer calves, this year I’m short cows and calves. I had to chase [Munster Bovine] all the time. We were Munster clients since it changed from Ballyclough but, because of this issue, and the timing of my technician visit, I won’t be with Munster Bovine any more.”

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