Latest figures for the estimated total volume of milk supplies up to the end of August 2014, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leaves Ireland 6.44% over quota at end of that month.

These figures would suggests a superlevy fine of approximately €96 million

The Minister for Agriculture outlined the figures to the Dail this week and said the latest figures compare to 0.36% under quota situation at this time last year and is down from 6.79% over quota at end of last month.

Minister Coveney stated that in preparing their enterprises for the post quota era, he has at all times urged that farmers have regard for the fact that milk quotas would remain in place until April 2015.

“Along with the associated superlevy regime, and I would take this opportunity today to reiterate this call. I would again urge farmers to use the time period between now and the removal of milk quotas to identify, with their dairy adviser, steps to manage both their milk supply and their dairy herds so that they have an efficient herd as they enter the post quota era. In this regard, I am organising a major dairy conference on November 19 next to assess our readiness for quota abolition and to take stock of the current challenges and opportunities facing the sector.”

In preparation for quota abolition, the Minister said he has announced a number of significant investments by his Department in the Irish dairy sector particularly at farm level. These include the Dairy Expansion Scheme and the TAMS funding for the dairy sector.

Furthermore, he said the draft Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 provides for significant on-farm capital investments through the TAMS II scheme and will include funding for dairy equipment. Discussions with the Commission prior to approval will facilitate agreement of the overall RDP with the expectation for commencement of this scheme from next year.

These current and prospective investments complement the excellent work being undertaken by Teagasc and ICBF in preparing dairy fairy farmers to take advantage of the significant opportunity which quota abolition will present.