Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Penultimate milk quota scheme opens

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

The second last Milk Quota Trading Scheme before quotas are abolished in 2015 opened last week.

The scheme will again be run in respect of each co-op area with a market exchange and a priority pool at just 3c/l. The latter is divided on a 3:2 ratio between young farmers and those with less than 350,000l of quota.

Sellers are still obliged to contribute 30pc of their quota to the priority pool and the method for calculating the market clearing price also remains unchanged. Sellers in certain co-op areas still have the option of selling at 1-2c/l less than their original offer price.

The closing date for applications is Friday, October 11.

Both the IFA and the ICMSA recommended farmers concerned about superlevies this year or next to consider purchasing through the scheme.

"Cow numbers on farms and the likely expansion post-2015 makes the possibility of a superlevy in 2014/15 very high," said the ICMSA's Pat McCormack.

The IFA's Kevin Kiersey said farmers who wished to sell their quotas should ensure they do not miss this last opportunity.

He said that the main reason for buying quota so close to the end of the regime was to avoid the 28.66c/l superlevy fine.

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"We are now over quota. Milk supplies in July rose by 7.5pc compared to 2012, and co-ops report much greater output during August," he said.

"Farmers should not be tempted to rely only on fleximilk, and they should make the fullest possible use of whatever temporary leasing quota they can get," he added.

Mr Kiersey warned dairy farmers against "wishful thinking" that the EU might soften its attitude towards the use of superlevies after 2014.

Irish Independent