The Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has today announced details of how Irish farmers can apply to the second round of the European Union’s Voluntary Milk Reduction Scheme.

The second round of the scheme covers the three-month period from November 1 and runs until January 31, 2017.

Farmers wishing to participate in the scheme must commit to reducing their milk output relative to the same three month period in 2015.

The Department has also announced that only farmers who did not apply for round one of the scheme can apply to this tranche.

Minster Creed said the second round of the scheme which represents the latest in a wide suite of measures adopted at EU level to address ongoing volatility in the dairy sector.

It will be again an individual decision for each farmer to weigh up the pros and cons of any route, taking issues such as market conditions, on farm efficiency and costs into account.

According to the Department, the roll-out of round two of the scheme was dependent on some of the total €150m budget being carried over from round one.

Key details:
  • Round two is only open to farmers who did not apply for round one of the scheme
  • Tranche two covers the period from November 2016 to January 2017
  • Farmers can apply to the scheme via their creamery
  • Closing date for applications in October 10

Due to the high uptake in tranche one, almost 99% of the available funding has been used, it says, and as a result only a very limited volume is available for round two of the scheme.

Just as the first tranche, interest applicants may apply via their milk purchaser who will have the application forms.

Interested farmers must clearly state the amount by which they propose to reduce their output for the three months concerned compared to the same period last year.

The closing date for farmers to return completed forms to their milk purchasers is Monday, October 10.