The total volume of milk supplies up to the end of October 2013, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leave Ireland 0.9 per cent over quota at end of October.  This compares to 2.8 per cent under quota this time last year and is up from 0.42 per cent over quota at end of last month.

According to the Department of Agriculture in a statement this afternoon: “Given the significant increase in production in recent months, there is a strong likelihood that Ireland will exceed its quota and consequently incur a super levy fine for this milk quota year,  unless milk producers take corrective action for the second half of the year.

“While the figures are not unexpected, given the very favourable milk production conditions that prevailed throughout the summer and early autumn, Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney is anxious to remind farmers that of the current situation.

“While we avoided a superlevy last year, largely due to the challenging weather conditions, the country did finish the 2011/12 milk quota year at 1.05 per cent over quota and this cost the farmers who were responsible for this over supply some €16m in superlevy payments.  The surge in milk production over the recent months is a reminder of the risk that the country could incur another milk super levy at the end of the current quota year and this could have very serious financial consequences for affected farmers,” the statement from the minister reads .

The department has stressed that against this background it remains critically important that individual milk producers continue to manage their enterprises having regard to the quota situation until the expiry of the milk quota regime on the 31 March 2015.

“Milk producers should also note that the final 0.75 per cent quota increase was applied on the 1 April 2013 and that no further quota increases are planned for the final year of the quota regime,” it added.

In addition, Minister Coveney said that while he now accepts government policy and the sector was to expand in the period post 2015, the EU quota rules must be applied fully up to the expiry date.He also reminds suppliers that they should only sell their milk through their usual purchaser in compliance with the Milk Quota Regulations and to sell through any other channels is an offence.