The quote of the day at the 2018 Positive Farmers Conference came from Dr Pat Dillon, head of the animal and grassland research and innovation programme in Teagasc Moorepark: “You can’t build a business on high cost.”

As always, infectiously enthusiastic, Pat pounded out the facts, concluding that there has been a massive increase in overall efficiency. We are producing 35% more milk today, over when quotas came in, with 17% less cows and the composition value of that milk has increased significantly. But he insisted that the cost base of the business is critical, asserting: