Manage milk quota carefully to avoid 'superlevy ruin'
Dairy farmers must carefully manage milk quota between now and 2015 to avoid potential financial ruin from a super- levy fine, a leading Teagasc researcher has warned.
"Without a plan, the effect of a superlevy fine may be catastrophic for the business and may result in bankruptcy," Laurence Shalloo warned delegates at the Positive Farmers' Conference in Limerick on Friday.
He pointed out that the period up to 2015 would be a challenge for farmers who had reacted to expansion signals by putting more animals in calf to dairy sires.
"Farmers must ensure that they do not expose their dairy business to financial ruin in the event of a superlevy while preparing the business for a no quota dairy industry," the Teagasc expert said.
Mr Shalloo said he was concerned that if the late 2010 milk supply trend continued, Ireland would finish the 2010/2011 quota year at or over quota.
Milk supplies were 4pc under quota on October 31, 3.1pc under on November 30 and 2.35pc under on December 31.
The dairy expert outlined strategies for expansion, while avoiding a costly superlevy.
"The first step for everyone is to take out concentrates," he said. "Taking out 600-700kg of concentrate will reduce yields by 7-8pc per cow."