Hunt for milk quota drives price to 40c/l
Sales agreed up to 53c/l as demand reaches an all-time high
The cost of milk quota looks to be heading north of 40c/l as dairy farmers become increasingly desperate to avoid superlevy fines.
With all of the country's leading milk processors over quota, and many farmers already having milk cheques stopped by their creameries, demand for milk quota is at an all-time high.
A number of recent sales of milk quota have seen values well in excess of 40c/l being paid, but quota attached to land has made even more.
Close to 53c/l was paid last week for a 363,000-litre quota, which was sold with a 79ac holding in Co Meath.
Similar sales are understood to have been agreed across the northwest.
A Cork-based auctioneer said that many of his clients had paid more than 40c/l for quota that was bought with land. In many cases, the stamp duty, capital gains taxes and solicitor and legal fees often add 50pc to the basic cost of the quota involved.
He said the scramble for quota attached to land sales had intensified over the summer.
By re-selling the land afterwards, farmers were attempting to side-step the ring-fencing rules that apply to the quota trading and leasing schemes, he claimed.