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Penalties are 'unfair'

Glanbia is coming under increasing pressure to amend the high penalties for excess milk produced under its seasonality scheme.

ICMSA dairy chairman Pat McCormack described the penalties as grossly excessive and extremely harsh. He cited the example of a 1pc increase in milk supply in June past the 16pc "tolerated" resulting in a fine of 20pc on the total value of May/June milk.

"The scheme needs to be reviewed and the level of penalty needs to be reduced or the quantity of milk that the penalty is applied to has to be reduced substantially," he insisted.

Glanbia has already amended its original proposal by excluding milk supplied during the last days of May that were traditionally included in the 'fifth' week of suppliers' June milk cheque.

The scheme is viewed as being less favourable towards suppliers compared to Dairygold's seasonal scheme.

Seminar on marketing

Teagasc has announced a packed programme of forestry events for next year, focusing on the need to actively manage plantations to realise their full commercial potential.

The first of these is a seminar on thinning and marketing of timber for producers, harvesters and buyers of timber, which will take place in Ballymote, Co Sligo, on January 12.

This event will be followed by similar seminars in Cavan, Galway, Laois, Cork, Kerry, Armagh, the midlands, Tipperary and Wexford.

All the events are run by Teagasc and the Forest Service, with information on each event available at forestry/events

Green light for grants

Some 639 of the 842 farmers who applied for grant aid under the Dairy Equipment Scheme have now been approved by the Department of Agriculture.

The value of the applications received was around €9.6m and the average grant involved in each application is around €11,400.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the remaining 203 farmer applications are either undergoing the approvals process, are subject to an outstanding query or have been rejected.

The main reason for rejection is if the applicant exceeded the maximum of 500 production units set out in the scheme's criteria.

Indo Farming