Dairygold and Teagasc launch new farm development programme
Dairygold Co-op is investing €1m into the new programme Together Towards 2021.

A new joint farm development programme between Dairygold Co-op and Teagasc was launched by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed on Friday.

It aims to provide Dairygold members up-to-date information to maximise profitability and sustainability at farm-level.

Labour efficiency

The programme runs to 2021 and follows on from the previous programme that saw over 8,500 people attend events held over the three-year period up to 2017.

The programme will focus specifically on labour efficiency, lean farm practices, biodiversity, water quality and herd health, with an increased collaboration with Munster AI.

A number of key performance indicators have been set out. These include:

  • Soil fertility improvements.
  • Grass utilisation.
  • EBI increase.
  • Carbon footprint reduction.
  • Milk solids increase.
  • Financial management improvements.
  • Milk quality scorecard gains.
  • “I’m hugely encouraged to see that this programme has taken a holistic approach to providing Dairygold members of all scale and development with the tools required to achieve efficiency and profitability in a sustainable manner,” Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said at the launch on the farm of John Keane, Macroom.

    Together Towards 2021 brings the total amount invested by the Dairygold in knowledge transfer events to €7m since its collaboration with Teagasc began in 1993, it said in a statement on Friday.

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    October milk cheques up €40m

    Arrabawn holds December milk price
    The processor is the most recent to announce that its milk price will be unchanged.

    Arrabawn has decided to hold its price for December milk at 30.6c/l excluding VAT.

    The price has remained unchanged for several months.

    Most co-ops opted to leave milk prices unchanged for December.

    Dairygold

    Dairygold announced that it will hold their December milk price at 30.36c/l excluding VAT.

    The price is inclusive of a 0.5c/l quality bonus based on standard constituents of 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat.

    The co-op has also held this price for several months.

    Lakeland Dairies, Glanbia and Kerry Group held their price at 30.4c/l (excluding VAT) for December milk supplies.

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    Dairygold holds December milk price

    Aurivo and Carbery set milk prices for December

    The farmer's daily wrap: low-cost loans and BDGP map
    Check out the latest headlines and get a look ahead at tomorrow's weather forecast.

    Weather forecast

    A status yellow nationwide snow and ice warning is in place from 7pm Monday 21 January until 9pm the following day.

    According to Met Éireann, hill and mountain areas are expected to be the worst affected.

    Frost and ice are predicted and temperatures will dip to -1°C, with fresh winds.

    In the news

  • Minister Creed has said some 2,511 farmers are yet to pass the approval process for their BDGP payment.
  • Vets have criticised the Department’s level of action in the run-up to Brexit.
  • Grant funding of up to €25,000 is available to farmers participating in GLAS to restore traditional farm buildings and structures.
  • Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.
  • Social Farming is set to double the number of its farmer participants from 60 to 120, according to its annual report.
    Minimum €50,000 draw-down for low-cost loans
    Farmers will have to draw down a minimum of €50,000 to access the next low-cost loan scheme.

    The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has confirmed details of the Future Growth Loan Scheme, including that farmers will have to apply for a minimum of €50,000 to avail of the scheme.

    The long-awaited low-cost loan scheme will offer eligible businesses and farmers loans at an interest rate of 4.5% or less.

    The maximum draw down is €3m and the loans are for terms of between eight and 10 years.

    Banks have been invited to apply to distribute the new low-cost loan scheme, with Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank all having previously expressed interest in taking part in the scheme.

    Loans in March

    Up to €300m is available under the scheme, which is being developed in conjunction with the SBCI, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Business.

    Minister for Business Heather Humphreys previously told the Irish Farmers Journal that she hopes to see the loan scheme fully operational by March this year.

    Financial institutions have until 11 February to submit their applications to become lending partners.

    Previous scheme

    Under the previous low-cost loan scheme, the interest rate was set at 2.95%, with loan terms available between 18 months and three years.

    A total fund of €150m was available, with roughly €145m drawn down by farmers. By October last year, some €47.5m had been repaid.

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    Listen: low-cost loans to land in March

    Where is the low-interest loan fund?