Commenting on the very marginal 0.07% under milk quota figure for February, IFA South Tipperary Dairy Committee Chairman TJ Maher said it would take a continued, determined effort by farmers who are over quota right to the end of the month, with support from their co-ops, to avoid financially crippling fines.
He said, “While it will be a huge challenge to remain under quota at a time of such good grass growth, I urge all farmers and co-ops to work tirelessly together over the next few weeks to minimise or even eliminate farmers’ exposure to superlevy.”
TJ Maher added IFA was particularly concerned about farmers whose herds have been restricted for lengthy periods due to animal disease problems, and who face potentially sizeable superlevy fines they have little or no ability to mitigate. These farmers have not fared well this year out of the Milk Quota Appeals Tribunal scheme which provides for them temporary quota allocations from a very limited National Reserve pool.
“We have approached the Department of Agriculture for a review of the Milk Quota Appeals Tribunal procedures for the next quota year. We believe it is important to relate the size of the temporary allocation of quota not only to the size of the excess of milk produced over quota, but also to the length of time the farmer’s herd has been restricted,” Mr Maher concluded.