Over 200 farmers attended the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) dairy presentation in the Manor West hotel in Tralee, Kerry on Monday. Local dairy farmer and Dairy Chairman Ken Jones opened proceedings by suggesting it was a difficult time for dairy farmers and that now was the time for dairy farmers to stand back from the business and inform themselves on markets and the impact it would have on their dairy income over coming weeks and months.
Many farmer questions from the floor related to the relatively poor price Kerry Group have been paying all year and why it was that two of the largest processors in the country (Glanbia and Kerry) were paying the lowest prices. Given the weather challenges in Kerry compared to the east of the country they suggested high stocking rates on heavy soils were not possible compared to some other parts of the country.
IFA dairy executive Catherine Lascurettes spoke about market prospects and developments. While realistic on current prices she was not all that pessimistic and suggested there was some potential for a price rise. She pointed to the fact that there were strong celebration events in the next number of months – Thanksgiving (gone already), Christmas, New Years Eve, Easter, and an Early Ramadan which all would contribute to higher demand for dairy commodities.