With no cheque in the post to help subsidise poor dairy farm incomes, all eyes are on milk price in New Zealand. Fonterra has predicted that it will pay on average $5.30/kgMS for the 2014/15 season – this equates to just 23c/l – below total cost of production for many farms.

The scary thing for New Zealand dairy farmers is that this is just a prediction and the final payout could be lower as the product they are selling is at a lower price. However, in typical New Zealand style, the farmers I have met over the last month are more worried about factors they can control – budgets have been revisited, expenses queried and belts tightened. Is it time for Irish farmers to be thinking along the same lines?