IFA Warns Dairy Farmers Of Superlevy Risk

IRELAND - Irish Farmers Association (IFA) National Dairy Committee Chairman, Kevin Kiersey, said that with milk production continuing to rise well into January, it was no longer certain that the country would not exceed our 2010/11 quota by 31 March.
calendar icon 1 February 2011
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Whether or not a superlevy bill materialises this year, he said it was only prudent for all milk producers to keep factoring in the risk of superlevy fines into their farming business plans right out to 2015, and limit their exposure to such a crippling unnecessary cost.

"It is clear that Irish dairy farmers have the stock and the potential to fill and exceed our existing quota and the two further one per cent increases agreed under the Health Check, especially with strong milk prices and good production conditions. While the quota regime remains with us, this means that the risk of superlevy bills remains, and the only prudent approach by farmers is to seek to minimise any costly exposure," Mr Kiersey said.

He added that, while IFA would continue working with like-minded EU countries to seek greater flexibility for sustainable expansion in Ireland before 2015, this was in the context of a majority of member states opposing such flexibility. He warned that prudent planning by farmers should assume no major change in the quota regime before 2015.

"Farmers who are close to filling their quota should seek out practical advice from Teagasc or their co-op to minimise their exposure this year, and for future years should ensure that their quota cover matches reasonably closely with their production levels. Otherwise, they could incur crippling superlevy fines, currently amounting to €27.83 per 100kg of milk, equivalent to approximately 28.6 cents per litre," Mr Kiersey concluded.

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