James Meagher, Co Waterford

“I’m in derogation but I won’t have to reduce. I live just outside the 220kg area so I can continue as normal and I’m not planning any further expansion. I’m at where I am. I keep a few cattle as well as the land is fragmented.

“Weather has been a constant battle. We had the best February imaginable; I was able to graze the wettest part of my farm then without back fencing. I grazed that ground twice after second cut last year but this year getting second cut was tough and I never got back in to graze it.”

James Meagher, Cappoquin, Co Waterford.

John T Egan, Co Tipperary

“The markets look like they are improving and the last Global Dairy Trade was static enough, which was disappointing.

“You would hope that it will stay going in the right direction.

“But from what they are saying here today, they are talking milk prices in the mid-40s for next year. That would be welcomed anyway.

“[Next year] will come more so down to the weather as well. It was a tough year and February and May were the best months we got. After that, it was either a drought or a washout. It is down to the weather as well.

“This year gone, I know inputs were still high but it is the weather really that scuttled it for the last four months.

“There was more concentrates fed than should have been fed and it was €100/t dearer than it should be as well and milk price was back down at 30c/l. It didn’t help.

“The [derogation] cut will impact me. I will have to go back maybe 10 or 12 cows next year but at the same time, you would be fed up of the whole thing, listening to it constantly, but maybe going back 10 or 12 cows won’t be any bad idea either.”

Niall and Samantha McCarron, Co Tyrone

“[The future] sounds more positive today after hearing the talks. It sounds like things are going to improve but it is still not guaranteed. Interest rates are high, milk prices are down but the outlook sounds more positive.

The quality is not there with the weather

“It was very wet [this year]. The pit usually lasts to the last week of January and it is empty now. We opened another pit last week and it seems to be going fairly quickly.

“The quality is not there with the weather.

“We had a good February there this year so if we could get a good February, it would get us to next March.

“I think we need to, as farmers, promote our product more and showcase what we do to get the value of it.”