Dept set to shut quota loophole
The Department of Agriculture has moved to close a loophole in milk quota movements where farmers were securing quota without land.
In October 2011 the Department banned farmers who were selling land and quota and buying back the land afterwards.
However, some farmers were still side-stepping the rules by setting up companies to lease land and quota for a year. After 12 months the company was legally able to buy out the quota without the land.
The new rules have banned this practice unless the lease of land and quota is signed, commenced and lodged with the relevant milk purchaser by March 31. As a result, the old rules apply until the end of this week. However, the changes do not apply to situations where producers lease their own land and quota to a company in which they hold a majority shareholding.