Ireland over quota by 6.51% Department of Agriculture warns

Irish dairy farmers are over quota nationally by 6.51% according to the Department of Agriculture latest figures.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has announced that total volume of milk supplies up to the end of November 2014, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment, leave Ireland 6.51% over-quota.

This is a decrease on the end-October figure of 7.15% but is significantly above the 1.38% over-quota position of this time last year, the Department of Agriculture has said.

Referring to the overrun, the Minister said he is aware of the factors, such as the good prices, the good weather and increased cow numbers that have facilitated milk production this year, but it remains critically important that individual farmers take account of their milk quotas in managing their enterprises, in this final year of quotas.

“I note that the monthly intake of milk in November was 13% down on the same month last year which suggests farmers are rapidly taking on-farm measures to reduce their exposure to potential superlevy payments. I would encourage continued prudent management by farmers of their output in these final few months of the quota regime,” the Minister at the Department of Agriculture said.

Meanwhile, the EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said that the best way for countries to mitigate against a superlevy bill is to reduce production.

Speaking in Brussels this week, Hogan confirmed that there were questions raised about superlevy and a soft landing by Member States.

“Needless to say the most important soft landing that could be deployed, is if dairy farmers would reduce production. We have gone up 5.5% in the production of milk in the last year and that is not exactly something that we are encouraging at the moment,” he said.