IRELAND - The preliminary output estimate for the end of the milk quota year is that Ireland will finish 0.94 per cent over quota.
The 2013/14 quota year expired on 31 March last and the 0.94 per cent figure is an estimate based on returns to the Department by the co-ops, taking into account the relevant butterfat adjustment.
The final figure will be confirmed at the end of May.
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said: “While this end of year figure is still only an estimate, it appears that farmers have made substantial efforts over recent weeks to manage their supplies. The current position represents a significant improvement in production management since last January when the estimated milk quota position was 1.63 per cent over quota.”
The 0.94 per cent over quota position is a reduction on the 1.26 per cent estimate at end-February and continues a downward trend from December of last year. This is mainly attributed to unfavourable weather in the first quarter of this year as well as better management by farmers of their supplies.
The Minister added: “As we enter the final year of the milk quota regime, I would again remind farmers to have regard to their quota position in planning their production over the coming 12 months.
“While many farmers are anxious to expand their production levels, it is important to remember that quota restrictions will remain in place until this time next year. I would encourage farmers to be conscious of this and to plan prudently as they prepare for the post quota era.”
He also reminded suppliers that they should only sell their milk through their usual purchaser in compliance with the Milk Quota Regulations and that to sell through any other channels is an offence.
Mr Coveney added: “We are now entering a momentous phase in Irish agriculture history, with less than one year to go to quota abolition.
“This time next year the Irish dairy sector will be unbound by quota restrictions and can begin to realise its vast potential and make an even greater contribution to our national economy.”
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