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Levy Warning Issued As Milk Supplies Increase

19 January 2012

IRELAND - Milk supplies at the end of December 2011 were estimated to be 0.88 per cent under quota, according to the Irish Ministry of Agriculture. This is a small relief, as November milk supplies went 0.41 per cent over quota.

Despite being under quota, the Minister of Agriculture, Simon Conveney, warned producers about the very real threat of a milk super levy at the end of the 2011/2012 milk quota year, if milk production patterns were to mirror those of the final three months of 2011.

Notwithstanding an easing off since summer 2011, milk production levels continued to remain above quota up to the end of November. However, due to the continued positive and responsible action taken by farmers and their co-operatives, production was just under quota at year end.

While the corresponding figure for this time last year was 1.87 per cent under quota, an increase in production of 1.5 per cent over quota over the final three months left year end production dangerously close to quota, at just 0.37 per cent under.

Minister Coveney acknowledged the frustrations of farmers wishing to expand their enterprises in preparation for the period post-2015 but said that it was clear, at this point, that a quota system would continue to operate until 2015, re-emphasising that any expansion needs to be synchronised with the gradual increase in quotas and their abolition in April 2015.

Against this background it remains critically important that individual operators continue to manage their enterprises within quota in the intervening period.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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