Latest figures from the Department of Agriculture show the total volume of milk supplies up to the end of February 2015, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leaves Ireland 5.07% over-quota.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney announced the figures today and said that while this figure continues a downward trend in the over-quota position, coming down from 7.15% last October, indications are that Ireland will still end the milk quota year significantly over quota.

“This continued downward trend in the over-quota figure is welcome as we enter the final days of the milk quota regime.

“However the reality is that we are facing into a significant superlevy, he said.

The Minister also said he is delighted with the outcome of recent discussions with Commissioner Hogan and the subsequent proposal allowing super levy payments to be made in installments over a three year period.

“This should greatly help to ease the cashflow burden for dairy farmers,” he said.

Minister Coveney said the Department is currently in consultation with relevant stakeholders in relation to the steps needed to give effect to the Commission proposal.

“We are entering the final ever week of milk quota. This is a massive milestone for Irish agriculture. The abolition of milk quota presents a tremendous opportunity for the Irish dairy sector which we can look forward to with confidence,” he said.