The total volume of milk supplies up to the end of January 2014, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leaves Ireland 1.52 per cent over quota at end January. 

This is according to the Department of Agriculture in an update this morning.

“While this compares to 3.9 per cent under quota this time last year, it represents an improvement on the position recorded at end of last month (1.63 per cent over quota),” it added. The quota year runs until 31 March 2014.

Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, in welcoming the improved quota position, urged suppliers to continue their efforts, saying that “any corrective action farmers take over the remaining weeks will help in mitigating a superlevy fine”.

“I would again remind farmers to have regard to their quota position in planning their production over the remaining 13 months of the quota system,” he added.

According to the department, while Ireland avoided a superlevy fine last year, largely due to the challenging weather conditions, the country finished the 2011/12 milk quota year at 1.05 per cent over quota, which resulted in a €16m fine.

The minister reiterated the decision has been taken at EU level that quotas will continue until the end of March 2015. He again urged farmers to immediately take stock of their milk supply situation and discuss any potential over production with their co-op and their dairy advisor.

He also reminded suppliers they should only sell their milk through their usual purchaser in compliance with the milk quota regulations and that to sell through any other channels is an offence.