The Irish Farmers Association has welcomed an announcement that Glanbia will pay farmers 20 cent per litre of milk lost as a result of the non-collection of supplies during the extreme weather over the past few days.

The vast majority of the Glanbia milk catchment area has been in a Status Red weather alert zone in recent days.

This forced the complete shutdown of farm milk collection and processing activities for a period.

Glanbia’s milk collection resumed in some areas today, but only where it is safe to do so. 

However, the co-op said that the scale of the backlog and the state of rural roads means that it will take significant time - depending on conditions - to reach all dairy farms. 

In some cases this will be too late to collect milk of appropriate quality for processing, or to reach farms before bulk tanks exceed their capacity. 

In response to this exceptionally challenging situation Glanbia has decided to assist farmers where milk is lost due to the impact of the storm. 

It said that in the event that a farm insurance policy does not cover milk lost it will pay dairy farmers 20 cent per litre - including VAT - on milk volumes that are lost due to the impact of the weather.

IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan has welcomed the announcement and said that he hopes other co-ops will follow suit. 

However, he said the key issue is trying to get milk collections going again.

Meanwhile, the Government has confirmed that farmers who remove snow-related hazards on public roads will not be liable for any claims during the current weather conditions.

The President of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association said "farmers throughout the State have done an enormous amount of work clearing roads and trying to improve driving conditions and it was only fair that they were not made in any way liable for trying to help others".