Superlevy fears sees November milk intake fall off a cliff
Figures released by the CSO confirm the massive fall in dairy farmers production mooted recently by the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney.
Domestic milk intake by creameries and pasteurisers was estimated at 239.8 million litres for November 2014. This was 13.3% below the corresponding 2013 figure.
Speaking recently on the now likely superlevy fine this week the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney 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.
Comparing the November 2014 milk produce figures with those for November 2013 shows that total milk sold for human consumption decreased by 5.8% to 38.2 million litres. Also, the CSO figures shows butter production was down 2.7% to 10,000 tonnes.