Dáil Éireann - Volume 206 - 27 November, 1963
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Milk Yields.
Mr. Donegan Mr. Donegan
36. Mr. Donegan asked the Minister for Agriculture if his attention has been drawn to the report published by An Foras Talúntais, indicating that the milk yields of Irish cows are among the lowest in Europe; and what special measures he proposes to take to improve this situation.
Mr. Smith Mr. Smith
Mr. Smith: I have seen the report referred to, which also points out that higher yields per cow have been mainly responsible for the increase of 17 per cent in Irish milk production over the last decade and that this expansion, which should be accelerated by the technical improvements now being applied in Irish agriculture, will have  to be based on efficient low cost production. I am taking effective steps to promote such progress by
(1) encouraging the improvement of grassland through the Fertiliser Subsidy Scheme;
(2) encouraging the conservation and provision of winter feed, e.g. silage;
(3) improved breeding of dairy cows particularly through the purchase and location at AI centres of the best dairy bulls available and the progeny testing of these bulls;
(4) the efforts of the advisory services in encouraging efficient, low cost production.
I have some doubts as to whether the figures of average milk yields for this and other countries, as shown in the report, can be validly compared. The figure for this country is an estimate for the total cow population, excepting those suckling calves, whereas for certain of the other countries the figures would appear to represent the average of the recorded dairy herd. The average yield for all recorded cows in this country in 1962 was 693 gallons.
Dáil Éireann 206 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Irish Milk Yields.