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Supplying Milk

When are milk quotas being abolished?

Milk quotas will be abolished on March 31st 2015.

What Co-op can a farmer supply milk to?

Farmers need to talk to their local co-op(s) about starting milk production; three months' notice is required.

What are milk solids?

Milk solids refer to the amount of protein and fat in a quantity of milk. Take a cow that produces 5,000 litres of milk in a season. If the milk contains 4.1% fat and 3.4% protein, then the milk has 7.5% milk solids. The total amount of fat produced is 5,000 x 1.03 x 0.041 which equals 211kg. Total protein produced is 175kg. Therefore this cow will produce a total of 386kg of milk solids in the season.

What is a payment system for milk?

Most co-ops pay on an A + B – C payment system. A is kg of protein, B is kg of fat and C is a reduction for each litre of milk supplied (volume charge). Protein is most valuable, currently about €7/kg, fat is about €3/kg and there is a charge for the volume ( 3 to 5 cent per litre) as this has to be evaporated off which is a major energy cost to the co-op.

Are there a charge / cost per litre for new entrants supplying milk to a Co-op?

Co-ops have different approaches to accepting new milk post 2015. Some co-ops will take milk without an extra charge but will require suppliers to be shareholders in the co-op. Other co-ops will take a charge per litre, which may be a loan or put into a revolving fund (returned after a number of years). Again it is best to talk to the local co-op about their milk purchasing arrangements for new entrants.