5 April 2002

Milk protein % key to profits

HIGHER milk protein percentages on top dairy farms in Teagascs intensive advisory programme are worth almost 1.5p/litre more than those with the lowest milk protein %.

Dermot McCarthy, Teagasc chief dairy adviser says the resulting extra profit for a farm with a milk quota of 182,000 litres is £4000 a year.

The programme aims to increase average protein in Irish milk, from about 3.2% at present to 3.5% over the coming years.

Mr McCarthy says protein plays a crucial role in expanding the range of value-added products produced by the Irish dairy industry, maximising export returns.

"The key to increased protein is superb use of grass and superior animal breeding. This year, our top performing farms had cows out on grass in February, despite difficult weather," he says. &#42