When can farmers expect Milk Supply Reduction Scheme payments to issue?

Farmers who applied to phase one of Voluntary Milk Supply Reduction Scheme can expect to receive payment from the scheme within 90 days of the final date of the reduction period, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, has said.

The scheme was introduced by the European Commission last year, as part of a range of tools to mitigate price volatility in the dairy sector.

The final date of the phase one reduction period was December 31, 2016 so farmers can expect payments to hit their accounts by the end of March.

Farmers had to return completed forms for the scheme to their co-ops by Friday last, February 3. Co-ops now have until February 9 to return the forms to the Department of Agriculture, the Minister confirmed in a parliamentary question response to Fianna Fail TD Niamh Smyth.

“In phase one of the scheme, applicants were required to reduce milk production in the period October 2016 to December 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.”

Payment will be on the basis of the actual reduction rather than that predicted in the application, subject to the certain terms and conditions.

“My Department will process the applications and payment will be made to qualifying participants following EU approval.”

The Minister said that phase two of the scheme required applicants to reduce production in the period November 2016 to January 2017.

“The closing date for applications to co-ops under phase two has not yet been finalised, but is expected to be early March.”

Under the scheme, farmers will be paid 14c/kg (14.4c/L) for the extent to which they reduce their October to December 2016 production relative to the same period in 2015, within a maximum of 50%, and a minimum of 1,500 kgs.

European Commission figures show that over 52,000 dairy farmers across Europe applied to take part in the first tranche of the milk reduction supply measure.