DAIRY FARMERS are facing an almost 30pc cut in May milk prices - with some farms facing superlevy bills of up to €100,000.
Prices have dropped by around 10c/l compared with the key production month last year, with a raft of processors confirming a fall of 1-2c/ in recent days.
The IFA's dairy executive Catherine Lascurettes said it was a "whopper" of a fall and it would be coming straight off of farmers' margins. "Around 12 months ago prices were around 37c/l, prices are now around 27c/l, net of VAT," she said.
The milk price cut comes as it emerged up to 6,000 farmers around the country will feel the pain of the €69m superlevy bill, with the Agriculture Department confirming the instalment scheme for dairy farmers to allow for staggered payments over the next three years.
Secretary General of the Agriculture Department, Aidan O'Driscoll, said the exposure for farmers varied from €1,000 to €100,000 depending on how much they were over quota.
Dairy farmers will have to pay the first one third of the bill to the Department before October 1, and they will have to submit applications through their co-op by June 30.
ICMSA deputy president, Pat McCormack, said he has a liability of more than €19,000 for over production.
He is one of the 162 suppliers over-quota that send milk to Tipperary Co-op, which has 3pc of the national milk quota and a superlevy liability of €2m for 2014-15. Ten suppliers to the co-op are facing a penalty of more than €500,000 between them.
Mr McCormack, who has been expanding his herd, said the number of suppliers over quota at the co-op is 13 times that of the previous year at the processor which indicate's the increased scale of the problem for the final year of the quotas.