The monthly intake of milk in November by creameries was 13% down on the same month last year according to the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
Speaking on the now likely superlevy fine this week he said the figure suggests farmers are taking on-farm measures to reduce their exposure to potential super levy payments
The rules governing the imposition of a super levy fine are set by Milk Quota Regulations agreed at EU level.
Under these Regulations each Member State is allocated a volume quota of milk, above which it should not produce.
In cases where Member States do produce in excess of their milk quota a super levy fine (of 28 cents/litre) has to be paid to the EU Commission by the milk producers who contribute to the over production.
Irish dairy farmers are over quota nationally by 6.51% according to the Department of Agriculture latest figures.
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.
The Minister has continued to urge farmers to use the time between now and the ending of milk quotas next March to identify, in conjunction 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.
The Minister has also said this week that whilst the long-term fundamentals of the global dairy market are strong objective analysis indicates that we are currently facing into a period of downward price movement following a prolonged period of high prices.
Managing the impact of this kind of volatility, particularly on farmer suppliers, remains a key challenge, he said.
Minister Coveney said market support measures will have a role and he has called on the EU Commission to deploy them as appropriate to support the markets processors and the lending sector will also have a role to play through measures such as fixed price contracts and flexible financing arrangements.