Milk quota approved for research project

MILK quota allocations expected to rise from less than 100,000 litres to more than one million litres in 2014/2015 have been approved for the Shinagh, Bandon, Co Cork-based dairy research project being undertaken by Teagasc with the Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird co-ops and with Carbery Milk Products.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney approved the quota allocation last week. He said the project would demonstrate best practice in conversion to dairy farming. As well as development of a greenfield dairy farm, the Bandon project incorporates five expanding family farms.

Coveney said information from these five farms would make a vital contribution to assisting all dairy farmers on how to plan expansion carefully, and avoid superlevy fines in the short term while preparing for significant expansion after 2015.

All pasture and reseeding works have been completed on the Shinagh greenfield dairy farm, farm roadways have been installed, and a 20-unit milking parlour has been constructed.

A large herd of spring-calving cows is in place, with 200 acres for cow grazing.

A farm office has been established, and a farm manager and labourer are in place. Mr Coveney said the Bandon quota allocation complements the greenfield dairy project in Kilkenny, which has been under way since late 2009, and which has been visited by many dairy farmers from around the country.

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