Glanbia’s announcement to lift its peak milk restrictions in the first week of May is too late for a lot of farmers, according to ICMSA president Pat McCormack.

Last week, Glanbia announced that it would not penalise any farmer who exceeds their peak milk allocation this year.

The co-op had previously announced that it was increasing the amount of milk allocated for the peak months to each supplier’s 2023 level and foregoing the first €500 of any penalty for suppliers producing more than their allocation for April only.

It’s too late for the farmers who “fed all the milk to calves” and it’s too late for those who culled cows at the back end of last year, McCormack said.

“To come out the first week of May is a bit late. Plans are made and protocols are put in place.

“The risk-takers will be able to take advantage of it but those who can’t afford to take risk won’t be able,” he said.

He also said that cull cow figures which are up 22,000 to 25,000 are as much a reflection of “supply constraints around the country” as they are about the beef price.

Glanbia Co-op chair John Murphy said: “We believe that the suspension of penalties for April, May and June of 2022 is appropriate given the latest milk supply forecasts and the fact that we have available milk processing capacity as we approach peak.”

“Investments in our facilities mean that we can handle additional milk volume this year compared to last year. However, milk supply volumes remain lower than last year, so we believe that it is now appropriate to remove the threat of any penalty for oversupply in the peak period in 2022,” he said.

The peak milk management policy will apply for 2023 and 2024.