Dairy farmers have one day left to submit Milk Reduction Scheme forms

Dairy farmers who participated in the EU Milk Reduction Scheme for the October to December 2016 period have until tomorrow, February 3, to return their completed application forms for payment to their co-op.

Under the scheme, farmers will be paid 14c/kg (14.4c/L) for the extent to which they reduce their October to December 2016 production relative to the same period in 2015, within a maximum of 50%, and a minimum of 1,500 kgs.

Speaking last month, IFA National Dairy Chairman, Sean O’Leary said that participants must remember that their 14.4c/l payment will decrease if they have reduced production by less than 80% of what they committed to do in their application form last September.

No payment at all will be made to anyone who reduced production by less than 20% of what they applied for.

“While farmers need to be proactive to secure their payment, it is vital that Minister Creed would ensure the Department of Agriculture pays farmers as promptly as possible after their applications has been received on February 3.”

There was a strong uptake to the scheme from Irish farmers, with 1,331 of the 3,400 Kerry milk suppliers applying for the scheme.

A spokesperson for Kerry said that it expects in the region of 1,000 of the applicants will qualify for the reduction payments for the reference period. Kerry expects the reduction in milk volumes to be approximately 13m litres.

Approximately 20% of Aurivo’s producer group, some 200 farmers, submitted applications by the September deadline. Aurivo has asked its suppliers to return the forms by today, February 2, so that they can be sent to the Department on Friday.

Meanwhile Glanbia reported that 13% of its suppliers applied for the scheme with an average proposed reduction of 25% on October to December 2015 supply.

A Glanbia spokesperson said that pre-populated application forms for payment from the EU Voluntary Supply Management Scheme were circulated to all Glanbia suppliers that participated in Phase 1 of the Scheme.

“Farmers that reduced 2016 supply by at least 20% should sign the form immediately and return it to the GII Milk Office in Ballyragget before the deadline of this Friday, February 3.

“Dual suppliers should return their signed application for payment directly to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

European Commission figures show that over 52,000 dairy farmers across Europe applied to take part in the first tranche of the milk reduction supply measure.