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Minister Disappointed at Prospect of Super Levy Fine

With 99% of the returns received from the Co-ops, the level of milk deliveries up to end March 2012 is estimated to be at 0.69% above quota, following appropriate adjustments for butter fat content and the leap year. While these are estimated figures and a definitive outcome will not be available for some months, all indications are that many Irish milk producers will incur a super levy fine for the first time since the 2007/2008 milk quota year. Based on these estimates, the National superlevy liability is expected to be in the region of €11m.

In reacting to this situation Minister Coveney said "I acknowledge the very difficult choices farmers were faced with over the past twelve months in trying to get a balance between the very attractive prices being paid in response to a strong global demand for dairy products and the limitations placed on them by their individual milk quota allocations.  There is no doubt that all the elements for successful milk production came together last month, increased calving, good weather, good grass growth, to the extent that the volume of milk produced in March 2012 is estimated to be 8% higher that the corresponding month in 2011".

The Minister went on to say that Ireland is likely to face similar challenges in the new quota year and he again urged farmers to carefully plan their production activities and to pay close attention to the limitations imposed by the quota regime. Even allowing for a further increase of one per cent in the national quota, farmers will have to work hard to remain within their allocations.

The Minister went on to say "For my part, I intend to continue my efforts to raise the issue of a soft landing at every opportunity with Member State colleagues and with the Commission in order to ease the transition to the post quota situation for Irish farmers".

Date Released: 24 April 2012